After weeks of rumors, Josh Byrnes and the San Diego Padres finally made the move. They traded two prospects to the Chicago White Sox for covetted outfielder Carlos Quenitn. In the deal, the Padres send Simon Castro and Pedro Hernandez to the White Sox. Quenitn, who is projected to make $7.5 million according to MLB Trade Rumors, will return to his childhood roots in San Diego.
The trade comes after months of speculation. The Padres made no secret of their interest in Quentin, but had focuses elsewhere they wanted to address before making the move. They traded Mat Latos to bolster their farm system and perhaps get themselves a Major League-ready first baseman and a veteran starter. They acquired a back-up catcher for Nick Hundley, and they completed a number of minor moves. Today, the team was finally ready to deal for Quentin.
The Padres are giving up a a prospect in Castro that was once ranked third best in the Padres organization, but failed to crack the top-ten this year. They are also giving up Hernandez who did not make the top-ten list either. In fact, neither player ranked within the top-25 in the Padres organization. Obviously the rankings can change year-to-year, and both players are still very young (Castro is 23 and Hernandez is 22), but San Diego managed to keep its stellar farm system relatively in tact.
Carlos Quentin is in his third year of arbitration and may be with the club for just one year unless Byrnes and company work out a quick contract extension, but considering the minor pieces the Padres gave up in the deal, the move could pay dividends immediately. The Padres offense ranked in the lower fourth of the league last year and is in desperate need of some pop. Quentin, when healthy, can provide that pop. Last season, he hit .254/.340/.499 with 24 home runs. As a righty, Quentin stands a better chance in Petco than a left-handed power hitter might. Petco drastically hinders left-handed power for the most part.
We will certainly bring continuing coverage and analysis of the trade, but this move seems to exemplify a win now and build for the future approach. The Padres are clearly not simply reloading for the future. They want to compete in 2012.