San Diego Padres: Why They Should Explore Trading Carlos Quentin in Offseason

James Shim@shimmersiamCorrespondent ISeptember 11, 2012

San Diego Padres: Why They Should Explore Trading Carlos Quentin in Offseason

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    It seems that the Padres are set to finish near the bottom of the NL West for a second consecutive season. 

    A team that has not reached the postseason since 2006 looks to be relevant once again as they have hired a new ownership in form of the O'Malley family. 

    As they strive for consistent success, the question remains: How big of a splash will the Padres make this upcoming offseason with their new owners? 

    With the offseason right around the corner for the Padres, it remains to be seen if outfielder Carlos Quentin will be a part of the Padres' future plans. Although he has signed a three-year extension, several factors may give the new Padres ownership reason to trade Quentin this off season. 

    Although the Padres do not have to absolutely trade Quentin, here are five reasons why they should explore such a move this offseason. 

1. Age

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    Though he's a solid hitter who can contribute to a team consistently,Quentin, who turned 30 in late August, is no longer the young, exciting slugger he was when with the Chicago White Sox

    Arguably the best player on the Padres team, Quentin would probably be made the face of the franchise if here were to stay. However, at this stage of his career, it does not seem Quentin would be someone you would want to build your team around. He is not the exciting, prolific hitter like, say, Texas' Josh Hamilton.

    Though he's a solid hitter who can contribute to a team consistently, his best value to the Padres right now would be as part of a trade that would bring San Diego some prospects and some hope for a brighter future. 

2. History of Injury

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    Quentin has struggled with injury throughout his career. He has struggled with injuries to his shoulder, wrist and foot (plantar fasciitis).

    At age 30, it's fair to say that Quentin has spent a considerable amount of time dealing with injuries. Prior to this season, Quentin also underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a damaged meniscus which caused him to miss almost two full months. 

    Having a player so prone to injury should discourage the Padres from investing any further in Quentin.

    Instead, the front office should look to get value for him while it can. 

3. Value

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    Because of Quentin's ability to contribute offensively, he is still a viable trade asset.

    And, because power hitting is always in high demand, some playoff contending teams may seek him out, hoping he is the missing piece to their offense. Plenty of teams would be more than happy to overpay for him, hoping that such an acquisition boost them on a championship run.

    By trading Quentin, the Padres can get top prospects in return, adding to their already deep farm system. 

    According to Keith Law of ESPN, the San Diego Padres have one of the best farm systems in the league. Trading away Quentin for prospects could help move the Padres toward building a successful young team.

    And this will give hope to Padre fans. 

4. New Contract

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    Sure, Carlos Quentin signed a three-year extension.

    But believe it or not, by signing an extension, Quentin became more of a trade asset for the Padres. 

    Had he not signed a contract, Quentin would have been a free agent after this season and, therefore, would have been a rental player if traded to a team before this year's trade deadline.

    Now, with a long-term contract, a contending team lacking offense can put in an offer for him and the Padres might be able to get two high-level prospects in return. 

    The Padres do not look like they will be in serious contention, so why not trade Quentin for high level prospects and add to an already successful farm system? The Padres should let their young talented prospects compete and gain the experience needed to make playoff runs in the following years. 

    With Quentin signing an extension, more teams may inquire about his services. If the Padres get an offer too good to resist, they have to let Quentin go.