Carlos Quentin Locked Up – Why?
In 2008, Carlos Quentin had an MVP caliber season for the AL Central Division Champion White Sox. Actually, he probably would’ve won the thing if he played the last month of the season; Quentin hit .288/.394/.571 with 36 home runs and 100 RBI in just 130 games before a temper-induced wrist injury ended his year prematurely.
This year – four years later, for those of you keeping score – Quentin has hit very well for his new team, the San Diego Padres. That is, at least when healthy – hitting .288/.389/.525 in 40 games.
In between, Quentin was average-to-above average, and just as injury prone, missing 135 games due to injury.
Given this rather abbreviated success, it’s rather surprising that the Padres found it appropriate to sign him to a 3-year, 27 million dollar deal with a 10 million dollar option and no-trade clause. It’s the kind of move done by a team on the verge of competing…which the Padres aren’t.
Or the kind of deal that you would give to a player with Quentin’s positives if he played league average speed or defense…which Quentin does not (the latter is a problem that will surely be exacerbated by Petco’s massive dimensions).
Or the kind of deal given by a wealthy team with spots to fill…which, again, the Padres are not. They actually have the lowest payroll in the game at 55,244,700, slightly lower than Oakland.
So, it follows that they spent out about 16% of that to an often-injured player with little skill outside the batter’s box. For the sake of reference, that’s higher (by percentage) than the Yankees are currently paying ARod.
The only justification I can imagine is that the Padres are hoping to trade him, and are hoping for a peak-surge where Carlos forgets that it isn’t 2008 anymore, so that they can sell high.
Still, that would mean banking on other GM’s making stupid decisions while failing to see negative externalities. Not outside the realm of possibilities for some, but banking on it seems like a poor investment strategy, no?