How About This…The Padres Try Carlos Quentin At…


With the recent acquisition of outfielder Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Padres finally acquired the impact bat they thought they were getting when almost three years ago, they traded for Carlos Quentin from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Simon Castro and Pedro Hernandez. Kemp will most likely be the left fielder, and unless GM A.J. Preller pulls the trigger on another impact bat like Justin Upton, the remainder of the Friars outfield is so-so at best. In center field, expect to see a platoon of the oft-injured Cameron Maybin and the underperforming Will Venable. In right, the rock for the Padres in 2014, Seth Smith. So where does that leave the incumbent left fielder, Carlos Quentin? 

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When Quentin arrived in San Diego, he came with a powerful bat, one that San Diego thought they could pair with then-team leader Adrian Gonzalez for a powerful 1-2, lefty-righty punch in the middle of the Padres’ lineup. Over the previous four seasons prior to come to the Padres, Quentin hadn’t hit less than 20 home runs, and topped out at 36 back in 2008, when he also finished 5th in AL MVP voting. After that, he hit 21, 26, and 24. He was a solid run producer, and being a right-handed power bat was an added bonus.

Instead, what the Padres received was a battered, and broken down shell of what Carlos Quentin once was. Someone that has never played more than 86 games in a season during his three campaigns in San Diego, and some who hit rock bottom in 2014, playing in only 50 games, hitting 4 home runs, driving in 18, and hitting only .177. Unfortunately for the Padres, Quentin is due $8 million dollars in 2015, and there is a mutual option for 2016 with a $3 million dollar buyout. So at minimum, Quentin will get $11 mil more from the Friars before they can wash their hands of him.

He is best suited to be one-half of a DH platoon in the American League, so he doesn’t have to play the outfield. Unfortunately for the Padres, there is no DH in the NL. So what can they do to A. ensure Quentin stays as healthy as possible and B. attempt to get some power production out of a spot in the lineup that desperately needs it. How about giving Carlos Quentin a look at first base? Yes, I said first base. It’s not out of the realm of possibility or reality. Would you rather give a guy with horrible knees a chance to stay a little bit healthier, learn a new position, and earn his $8 mil, and perhaps get 15-18 home runs to go along with Kemp? Or would you rather have a guy that hit .240 with 7 home runs and only drove in 27 runs in 84 games? I’d rather go with the better athlete, roll the dice and try and catch lightning in a bottle. What do the Padres have to lose? They’ll already been burned over the previous three seasons, and unless the Kansas City Royals are willing to take Quentin and the money, San Diego is stuck with him.

Next: Matt Kemp Is Not The Padres Savior

The Padres other legit first base option was just sent up the I-5 in exchange for Kemp, in Yasmani Grandal. I still believe dealing him to the Dodgers was a huge mistake. The kid was a switch-hitter with power, who hit double-digit bombs even with a bad wheel, and didn’t play a horrendous first base. That’s for another day however. If Carlos Quentin is going to be on the roster, and claims he’s as healthy as he can be, why not get his power bat into the lineup, DFA Yonder Alonso, and if Quentin has a solid first half, DEAL HIM at the deadline. Then you give someone like Tommy Medica or Alex Dickerson the chance to either platoon or win the job outright. Everyone comes out a winner. After three seasons of zero to no production out of Carlos Quentin, one last desperation move to garner something is better than just accepting what has been.