Padres Editorial: How To Handle These Extra Outfielders


If there was one criticism about new San Diego Padres GM A.J. Preller‘s amazing off-season, it might just be who he didn’t trade.

He traded two starting catchers, one of which he had just acquired days before. He traded a slew of minor leaguers and Seth Smith too. Yet, while getting three starting outfielders that are a vast improvement over what anyone could have imagined, he might have overlooked one fact:

He still has Carlos Quentin, Cameron Maybin and Will Venable on his roster.

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Jeff Sanders of the Union Tribune recently pointed out that even with Rico Noel, Rymer Liriano and Alex Dickerson sent down to the minors, there are still four spare outfielders left on the roster, for a team that can probably carry two extra.

Carlos Quentin did make his second start in left field on Wednesday and actually got two doubles during the game to boot. So far this Spring he is 6-22 as of Friday. Those two doubles Wednesday were his first two extra-base hits besides his one home run.

Will Venable is the easy choice as the fourth outfielder. He is left-handed, plays stellar defense, and has been in the majors for a few years. Late game replacement for Wil Myers, pinch-hitter, pinch-runner, whatever. This is the role he is best suited for. He is only 6-26 with one homer this Spring, with one stolen base for good measure.

Cameron Maybin is a bit of a tricky one. He is still young and crazy athletic. In my mind, he doesn’t project quite as well as a backup player because he should be a better player than he is. Seems like a trade to a bad team would be good for him, where he could play everyday (when healthy), and see if his talent can reemerge. Of course, previous regimes in San Diego did sign him to a contract that pays him more than hes earned, but seems like if the Padres covered half of it, they could trade him to the Minnesota Twins or another team looking for center field depth. He plays good defense and has the speed you want in a backup, but I don’t see him adjusting to a bench role as well as Venable. So far this Spring he is 8-28 with one homer.

The other forgotten man on the Padres roster is Abraham Almonte from the Chris Denorfia trade last year. He is likely to be sent down to AAA soon himself, as he doesn’t have enough service time and isn’t doing much in the spring camp to make this one a tough decision. He is just 5-24 through Thursday’s game.

With just a few weeks until Opening Day, it will be interesting to see how this shakes out for the Padres. Will someone go on the DL with an ailment to delay the real decision? Will Preller find a taker for Maybin or Quentin? What do you guys think?

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