As a San Diego Padre fan, I have always dreaded the MLB trade deadline. Usually, the Padres' best player’s name is thrown around in trade discussion and eventually traded. As the Padres continue to put out a poor product on the field, it is tough for fans to stay loyal when the team’s best players are always leaving town.
This year is no different as Carlos Quentin is likely going to be one of the most popular names at the deadline. Quentin has been fantastic since his return to the lineup following a knee injury in spring training. Since his return, Quentin has appeared in 29 games, is batting .289, has 16 RBIs and seven home runs.
Quentin has added instant offense for the Padres, who struggle in every offensive area. His seven home runs are just one behind Chase Headley, who is leading the team in jacks. While the consensus around the league is Quentin is likely to be moved, it would be in the team’s best interest to hold on to Quentin and sign him long term.
The Padres are in the midst of being sold, which has made their payroll ever smaller. According to USA Today, the Padres have the lowest payroll in baseball. The Padres are hoping to have the team sold by the end of the year. If the new owner is more willing to open his wallet, the Padres will once again to be able to put a competitive team on the field.
The Pads have one of the best farm systems in baseball, so the future is bright for the Friars. But they need to keep Quentin’s bat in the lineup. It is no secret that Petco Park is not park that favors hitters. So if the Padres want to score runs, they will need a big bat.
If the Padres keep Quentin, they will also solidify their outfield. With Cameron Maybin in center and Will Venable in right field, the Padres would have a solid outfield for years to come. Quentin is not known for his defense, but this year his defense hasn't been noticeably bad.
The Padres are currently ranked dead last in runs scored and slugging percentage. They're also ranked 27th in batting average and 25th in on-base percentage. The Padres cannot afford to give away their best bat in order to get more prospects. The Padres are not going to the playoffs and they probably will finish at least 10 games under .500. But that is no reason to give away their best bat for unproven prospects.
The Padres have done that for the last couple of years and look how it has turned out. Quentin has strong roots in San Diego and is one of the most popular Padre players already, which helps put fans in the often empty Petco Park.
At the age of 29, Quentin has many good years left and is a perfect bat to build around. He has the power to hit it out of Petco Park and has a career .350 OBP.
The Padres need to find a bat to protect Quentin in the lineup. If they fail to do this, Quentin will get the Adrian Gonzalez walk treatment.
The Padres need to stop being a team that struggles in the first half and then gives players away to help teams in playoff runs. Instead, they should keep these players and start to build a playoff team from within. If the Padres can stay healthy and add more pitching depth, along with one or two more bats, they might find themselves winning more games.
Padre fans are tired of this constant rotation of players that are cycled between AAA and the majors. If the Padres want to be considered a legitimate club, they need to make a statement.
Keeping Carlos Quentin would be a step in the right direction.