On this New Year’s Eve, we had some movement, as the Chicago White Sox have traded outfielder Carlos Quentin to the San Diego Padres for minor league pitchers Simon Castro and Pedro Hernandez. The move seems bizarre in the wake of the John Danks extension, but fits with the plan of “rebuilding” that Kenny Williams stressed as Chicago entered the offseason.
Quentin is under his final arbitration season in 2012, and will be a free agent at the end of the season. He’ll make at least $5.05 million, his salary in 2011. For Chicago in 2011, he had a .254/.340/.499 line with 24 homers in 118 games. He was worth 2.6 fWAR, after back to back seasons where he was worth a combined -0.5 fWAR.
When I think of this deal, I wonder just how in the hell Quentin is going to handle the outfield at spacious Petco Park. Playing half of his games in US Cellular Field, a notorious hitter’s park, he’s accumulated -26 DRS over the last three season, and posted ghastly UZR numbers in 2009 and 2010 before returning to neutral in 2011. Oddly, his splits were the reverse of what you’d expect. At home, Quentin had a slash line of .214/.307/.381, while on the road, his line was .294/.372/.616. I don’t expect that road line to hold for a full season in Petco, however.
As for what’s going back to Chicago, there isn’t a lot to get excited about. The 23 year-old Castro ranked in the “good” category on Mark’s listing of Padres prospects earlier this offseason after a disappointing 2011 season that saw him walk 34 and strike out 94 in 115 innings while allowing 14 homers and posting a 5.63 ERA. The 22 year-old Hernandez split time at three levels in 2011, finishing up in AAA Tucson. For the season, he threw 116 innings while striking out 94 and walking 22 with a 3.49 ERA.
In light of this deal, the extension given to John Danks makes even less sense. Wouldn’t you just want to blow the team up completely instead of picking and choosing which veteran pieces to keep? I just don’t get it, especially because Danks isn’t the prototypical rotation ace.
As for the Padres, I don’t understand their logic in bringing in someone like Quentin when you’ve got an abundance of talent that can play the corner positions. I think this trade solidifies the fact that Yonder Alonso or Anthony Rizzo will be getting moved in the foreseeable future. Does this move Will Venable to a bench role? I don’t think that Quentin can help them win more than Venable, or even Kyle Blanks in left field.
I don’t understand this move from either side of the coin.