So here’s what we know. As of right now Carlos Quentin is basically the only person keeping the Padres watchable. Sure he’s come down off of that ridiculous, unsustainable start, but regardless he’s been an absolute rock. He’s probably the only person in the lineup right now that can intimidate the pitcher (6”2’, 235 pounds will do that,) and he actually seems like a pretty affable, likable guy, genuinely invested in his current club – even though it must be a little frustrating watching the rebirth of the White Sox from afar.
Of course, we also know that Carlos Quentin was traded for, despite being in the last year of his deal. This means if the Padres keep him around for the rest of the year, they’ll have to court the 2-time all-star into sticking around. That might be easy if we were talking about the Rangers or Dodgers, but right now the Padres are an owner-less, directionless squad working on potentially the worst record in baseball. If Carlos does leave in 2013, it’ll go down as one of the dumbest, pointless trades in franchise history. No pressure or anything.
Elementally speaking, Quentin is the sort of guy we should be hanging onto, simply because a big bat in the middle of the lineup singlehandedly turned the ’10 Padres into a surprisingly competitive team (thank you Gonzo.) I mean, when you take a look at the roster, he’s the only guy that even remotely deserves an all-star bid. Those are all, of course, powerful assets – he’s a hard player to trade simply because how his immediate dividends seem wonderfully valuable. Not to put stock in the warm, hopeful feelings generated by a competitive player on a bad team, but at the very least he represents the future. And hey! He’s a San Diego boy, maybe homeland-attachment will give us an edge come resigning time.
Still, we have to be objective. Carlos Quentin turned 30 in August. He has spent a considerable amount of time recovering from injuries. He is not the hot, young, exciting slugger we’d ever hope to build a dynasty around – and right now he looks like an important piece fitted in a broken machine. We also have to consider how the market swells for consistent, power-hitting lifers come trade-deadline time – plenty of teams would be more than happy to overpay hoping it’ll be the key boost to a championship run.
Look, I’m not saying we should absolutely trade Carlos Quentin. But I do think we need to adjust our perspective. Despite his high-profile on a team defined by in-development youngsters and middling everymen, he’s a little irrelevant in the long run. His age, and his health history should make us nervous, but it’s a deeper problem than that. Quentin is not the sort of player the Padres should be investing in right now, and a trade could give us a lot more hope for the future.
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