Quentin Remains A Padre — For Now

Carlos-Quentin-stretch

Twenty days from opening the season against the Dodgers, manager Bud Black’s new-look San Diego Padres are poised to live up to the hype and expectations of fans and pundits.
Staying relatively healthy (save a knee injury by backup catcher Tim Federowicz) has produced a competitive environment that has rejuvenated the clubhouse atmosphere – something that was missing in seasons past with lackluster results.
Only a few questions remain: Who will be the fifth starter? Does Clint Barmes have enough in the tank to win the shortstop position from Alexi Amarista? And most importantly, what team will be the recipient of Carlos Quentin?
Scuttlebutt around the Cactus League has pointed to Quentin’s departure since the beginning of camp. With him making $9.5 million, the Padres can ill-afford to have a right-handed bat off the bench with questionable durability. General manager A.J. Preller and Black tried to increase Quentin’s value by having him play first base, rather than left field. The experiment thus far has not turned many heads.
Quentin could be attractive to an American League team as a designated hitter.
With the Rangers’ pitching staff being decimated by injury again, Texas could swing a trade to acquire healthy arms. With the stockpile of talent Preller has at the big league and developmental levels, maybe he’ll ship pitching to the Rangers in exchange for a veteran defensive infielder like third baseman Adrian Beltre or shortstop Elvis Andrus. Packaged in that deal would be the Rangers taking Quentin, or at least, locating a third team to absorb his salary and roster spot in exchange for minor-league prospects.
The reality is that the end could be soon for Quentin.
Quentin’s tenure with the Padres was mired with his inability to stay healthy. Balky knees have taken their toll on Quentin to be an everyday contributor. Quentin, 32, still has pop but cannot be counted on defensively.
The least likely destination for Quentin would be the Padres’ 25-man roster.
In 16 spring plate appearances, Quentin is batting .250 with a homer and three RBIs. Quentin is healthy – maybe not for long.
Preller has done an amazing job reconstructing the Padres since his August promotion to oversee the front office. The last piece to building a playoff caliber team could be obtaining a veteran infielder. Unfortunately for Quentin, he may be the piece swapped to make this happen. When it comes to dependability and availability, $9.5 million is too much for an aging bench player that is just one swing away from landing on the disabled list.
+ Written by intern Dennis Gulyas under the direction of Jay Paris.

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