Padres News: Carlos Quentin Transitioning to First Base?


One of the weaknesses of the San Diego Padres remains first base.  With Yonder Alonso, Tommy Medica, and possibly Will Middlebrooks vying for the position, there will be another competing for the starting role there – Carlos Quentin.

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According to Dennis Lin of the U-T San Diego,  Quentin has brought a first-baseman’s glove to Spring Training.  In fact, according to Lin, it was Quentin who went up to skipper Bud Black with the idea of transitioning to first base.

This is great news. Great to see the Padres experimenting. The Padres will add a power-hitting right-hander into the mix at first base.  With the knee problems Quentin has had over the course of his career, it was and remains necessary to move him out of the outfield.

His knees cannot sustain that amount of wear and tear.  Perhaps this will push Alonso in a positive direction – though it is more likely that injuries hurt his play and mechanics.  The added competition might also make Alonso fold in the pressure.  Only time will tell.

But more importantly, the positional adjustment increases Quentin’s stock on the trade market.  Adding value is an absolute necessity for a guy who hit .177/.284/.315/.599 in only 50 games last season.

If Quentin has a good spring and adjusts decently enough to the infield, a trade might not involve the Padres eating most if any of his contract.  Now, a few million may seem trivial in a world where payrolls exceed $200 million.  But for the Padres, shedding unnecessary salary might be a major help down the season.

If the Padres are in contention – as we hope – they might be in a position to add a player via trade that brings the team over-the-top.  GM A.J. Preller has traded before.  It’s doubtful he will be silent throughout the season.

The ability to pull the trigger may come down to the flexibility in payroll.  Adding value to Carlos Quentin may have larger implications.

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