Carlos Quentin has made a couple rehab starts for Triple-A Tucson. He hit his first home run of the season – minor
league home run at least. Quentin is scheduled to play a few more rehabilitation games with Class-A Lake Elsinore rather than travel with the Tucson Padres.
Quentin’s return should equal more power for an obviously offensive-challenged team, but just how much will Quentin be able to contribute? Quentin was a two-time All-Star with the Chicago White Sox. He has hit more than 30 home runs once and more than 20 home runs twice. He clearly has talent, but coming off an injury and playing in Petco could bring drastic changes to the Quentin we have got to know.
In addition, the Padres are falling farther out of contention by the day. Quentin’s future with the club may be as trade bait rather than contributor to a contending team. If he is in fact trade bait, he will need to perform at a high enough level to attract multiple offers. The Padres do not want to have wasted the money they invested in Quentin. No one can say they did if the Padres can get a solid return on the trade market for him. If they keep Quentin, San Diego will have almost no choice but to extend him.
If San Diego does not trade Quentin and they do not extend his contract, they will have wasted every penny they paid him this year. There are four reasons to sign a player: 1) To attract fans, 2) To contend, 3) As trade bait, 4) To fill a hole.
The Padres are obviously not drawing many fans, and Carlos Quentin’s addition does not seem as if it will change that. The team clearly isn’t competitive. They could trade him, but he certainly wasn’t brought over to fill a hole. There are numerous minor league players San Diego could have called up if they just needed to fill a hole.
Carlos Quentin’s addition to this offense may be welcome to fans desperate for something to cheer for, but ultimately he won’t contribute much to the 2012 version of this team. He will essentially be playing for his next contract. If he does well, he will attract a lot of attention from teams across the league. If he performs poorly, the Padres may be forced to unload him for a return far from what they hoped.
The return of the Quentin is incredibly important to the continued rebuilding of the club. If he returns successful, the team could very well put themselves in a nice position to compete next year. If Quentin performs poorly upon return, San Diego may set themselves back with his contract. The only way the contract makes sense in the lon grin is if the team gets players that help them build going forward.
As we draw nearer to Quentin’s return, roster spots will need to open, those who have been receiving plying time will receive less, and the Padres will have some long-term choices to make.