After watching the Orioles futile offensive effort against Jon Lester on Sunday, do you have any interest in seeing them add another bat before the trade deadline? Does Carlos Quentin sound like a good name to you? He sounds good enough to the Orioles to at least fuel this tweet from Buster Olney:
One of the players BAL has talked about internally is Carlos Quentin of the Padres, who is signed through 2015 for about $24m guaranteed.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 28, 2013
The phrase "talked about internally" could mean a lot of things. It could mean that the Orioles are really serious about making some kind of offer concerning the Padres slugger, or it could just mean that Dan Duquette was laughing around a water cooler and said, "Yeah, Quentin would look great in an Orioles uniform," and then that was characterized as an internal discussion.
Quentin turns 31 next month and he has two years remaining beyond this year on his contract. That would be $20.5 million guaranteed beyond this year, with a $3 million buyout on a $10 million mutual option for 2016. In an eight-year career, Quentin's slash line is .255/.351/.492. He's averaged 31 home runs per 162 games, but he has never played more than 131 games in a single season, and played only 86 games for the Padres last season.
A player who can slug over .500 in the wasteland that is Petco is probably worth that salary for the Orioles, but what would it cost to get him in trade? There is no indication that the Orioles have even called the Padres to find out what San Diego would want for him. Notably, one year ago, it was another Padres player the Orioles were considering at the deadline. That was Chase Headley, because the Orioles had a huge void at third base, but they decided to say screw that trade nonsense and called up Manny Machado. That worked out pretty well.
In his career, Quentin hits lefties and righties equally well, so he could just be the DH, no platooning needed. Against right-handed pitchers, his career OPS is .845 and against lefties it is .837. He also has a no-trade clause in his contract, so he would have to waive that in order to come to Baltimore, even supposing the Orioles would pay whatever the Padres wanted for him. That would probably be a significant cost given that there's two years beyond this of Quentin to come.
As far as the no-trade clause, the Orioles being a playoff team last year and a winning team this year should make them a more attractive destination than in the past.
Recent reports have indicated the Orioles may be more aggressive in trading prospects and taking on salary than was first indicated. If that is serious, then Quentin is a player who may be worth targeting, though there is always the risk of injury, and possibly the risk of decline as he moves into his 30s. At the very least, it would not be paying for a rental.
Dream if you like about acquiring a player with a .366 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage while playing half of his games in Petco, but don't get too excited. The standard for trade rumors is that most of them amount to nothing, and "talked about internally" isn't even a full-blown trade rumor.
It's something, though. The Orioles may very well decide to forego the prospect and salary cost and go with L.J. Hoes and Henry Urrutia. That probably won't work out as well as the Machado decision last year, but you never know.