Former San Diego Padres left-fielder Carlos Quentin has signed a minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners as reported by Jeff Sanders of the SD Union Tribune. The deal does have an opt out by May 12, ironic because that is when the Padres meet the Mariners in Seattle.
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Though just 32 years old, Carlos Quentin seems to have the body of a 45 year old linebacker. In his three years with the Padres, he averaged 73 games per season (45% of total games) and only amassed 33 home runs after hitting 36 alone in his first All Star Season of 2008. Don’t forget, in 2011 the year before he signed his free agent deal with the Padres, he also made the All Star Game and hit 24 homers and 77 RBI while playing in 118 games.
The saga of Carlos Quentin came to the forefront this winter as new General Manager A.J. Preller reshaped the entire outfield of the Padres by acquiring Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, and Justin Upton. Even after trading Seth Smith that left incumbents Will Venable, Carlos Quentin and Cameron Maybin in an awkward situation where it was obvious not all of them could stay. That logjam was solved when on the eve of Opening Day in perhaps the boldest move of all, Craig Kimbrel was traded to the Padres along with Atlanta free agency disappointment Melvin Upton Jr.for Maybin and Quentin and top pitching prospect Matt Wisler. The 2017 Braves could have a lot of former Padres on the major league level, as Wisler joines Max Fried and Mallex Smith who went to Atlanta in the Justin Upton deal.
What the Mariners exactly have in store for Quentin remains to be seen. Nelson Cruz is doing all as advertised bringing power at the major league level for the team, though why it took so long for Quentin to end up back with an American League team is beyond me. In a full spring training with the Padres which even included Quentin trying his hand at first base as an extra utility for himself, he went 10 for 40 with 1 home run.
Sometimes free agent signings don’t work out. For now, the biggest one on AJ Preller’s resume is James Shields and that one is off to good returns for the Padres. Time will tell. Quentin could just never stay healthy enough in San Diego and last year especially even when he was healthy the production didn’t come either.