The San Diego Padres are going nowhere fast, and unloading Carlos Quentin needs to be a priority.
According to FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, most “in the industry” expect Quentin to be dealt before the July trade deadline, and it makes plenty of sense.
He is making $7.025 million in the final year of his contract, and at the age of 29, he is unlikely to be a part of the youth movement currently moving forward in San Diego.
Since coming back from a knee injury, Quentin has hit .400 with six doubles and 11 runs in only 69 plate appearances. He still has substantial value, even if we will never see the 2008 version of Quentin ever again.
The Padres’ payroll is expected to stand around the $55 million mark next season according to Rosenthal, and signing Quentin to a long-term deal doesn’t make a ton of sense.
While Rosenthal doesn’t completely discount the notion of Quentin returning next season, the Padres are better off moving him now, saving the payroll and acquiring more young talent in return.
Here are the three teams that could use Quentin to propel them for a deep playoff run this fall.
3. Baltimore Orioles
Are they for real?
If the O’s plan on sticking around atop the AL East all summer, they have to beef up their production in left field.
Converted third basemen Steve Tolleson started in left for the Orioles on Tuesday. He is currently hitting .214 with a .267 OBP. This comes one night after converted first basemen Steve Pearce was manning the position.
Adding a proven veteran with the ability to hit for power is exactly what the O’s offense could use right now. They also have a sizable amount of depth lurking in their minor league system and could certainly entice San Diego to make a deal.
2. Cincinnati Reds
While the budget may be tight, they have a recent history in dealing with the Padres with the Mat Latos megatrade.
The Reds have been platooning Ryan Ludwick and Chris Heisey in left field all season long and the results have been less than stellar.
Who is the Best Fit For Carlos Quentin?
It’s the biggest weakness in an otherwise potent lineup, and if the Reds are looking to cash in on their early-season success, surrendering another talent in their strong farm system makes plenty of sense.
1. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates quietly have one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball. They are pushing the Reds for NL Central supremacy, but they have to do something about their offense.
They currently rank dead last in all of baseball in runs (222) and on-base percentage (.283) and are 29th in batting average (.228).
Sure this team never adds payroll midseason, but they have a loaded farm system and could make for an enticing trade partner with San Diego.
Besides, the Pirates have to show their fans they give a crap about winning at some point. Right?
Quentin’s seven years of big league experience, ability to hit for average and strong defense make him just the kind of player Pittsburgh needs right now.