According to MLBTradeRumors.com, both Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com and Jon Heyman of SI.com are reporting that the Phillies are showing interest in Carlos Quentin of the Chicago White Sox. While this deal is appealing to the Phillies on a certain level, there are a couple of red flags with Quentin that could spell disaster for the Phillies.
Before we harp on the negative, let's take a look at the positive:
Quentin represents the all-elusive right-handed hitting outfielder that the Phillies and their fans so desperately covet (though not necessarily with good reason). To be sure, Quentin is a basher; he already has 20 home runs and 26 doubles in 95 games for the White Sox, and has been hit by a pitch 20 times already. He is a two-time All-Star, and when he is on like he was in 2008 before getting injured, he can be one of the most dangerous hitters in the game.
Plus, he is signed cheaply through the end of the year and is arbitration eligible after the season.
Now to the negatives.
First of all, Quentin has been incredibly inconsistent throughout his career. His 26 doubles are already more than he hit in all of 2010, when he hit .243 with an .821 OPS and his .265 average is his highest in three seasons.
Secondly, he is injury prone; he has never played more than 131 games in a single season, and has topped 100 games only twice in five seasons coming into this year.
Third, his power numbers are impressive, but they are American League power numbers. One is forced to wonder whether he can put up those same numbers hitting in Atlanta and New York and Florida against National League pitching (though I will note that I was shocked to learn that 14 of his 20 home runs have come on the road this season. Major plus).
Perhaps the most concerning element of Quentin's game, though, and the part that could most hurt the Phillies, is his defense. Quentin is one of the most block-footed outfielders in baseball, and last season was one of the three or four worst right fielders in the game. He has improved a bit in 2011, but of all right fielders in the game with at least 600 innings played, he is tied for last in the Majors in the all important "plays made out of zone" statistic.
If Quentin comes to Philadelphia, his defense will absolutely be a liability, especially considering the Phils' devotion to Raul Ibanez, one of the worst defensive left fielders in the game. If Quentin can hit for the Phils the way he has for the White Sox, he may be worth acquiring.
But if Quentin has trouble adjusting to National League pitching and plays poor defense in right field to boot, it could mean very bad things for the Philadelphia Phillies.