Padres Josh Byrnes compounds earlier mistakes by signing LF Carlos Quentin to a 3 yr/$30 million extension
In the middle of Vicky Santo’s stirring comments during the induction speech for her husband Ron here in Cooperstown a member of our front office leans over to me and says, “what is Byrnes thinking”?
Earlier in the day my wife had pried my phone and tablet from my hands and handed me a camera and her grandfather’s Cubs cap. “Its a day to be a fan” she said, so I had no idea what he was talking about.
I had to wait until I got back to the hotel last night to learn that Josh Byrnes had made his third critical mistake regarding Carlos Quentin.
Byrnes’ Critical Mistakes
1st – He traded a young Quentin to the White Sox as GM of the Diamondbacks
2nd – He traded two very good prospects (Castro and Hernandez) to the White Sox for an older and injury prone Quentin as the new GM of the Padres
Now, to compound those two huge mistakes, Byrnes gives Carlos Quentin a 3 year $30 million extension with the San Diego Padres.
For a low budget team expected to have a $60-70 million payroll in 2013, Byrnes gives a 3 year deal that will take up 15+ percent of the teams total payroll to:
- a player that is so injury prone that he has not had a season where he started more than 103 games in the field since 2008
- a player so bad defensively that he has not completed more than 83 games in a season since 2008 & has recorded a -37.7 UZR over that period.
- a player with a .248 batting average since the start of the 2009 season
You also have to remember that Quentin is more expensive than just his salary. Someone else has to play the 60 + games he will miss due to injuries each season and the 180 + innings per season he will be out of games because of his bad defense and you have to pay those players too.
Byrnes has guaranteed that for 60 or more games each of the next 3 seasons the Padres will wonder who will be playing in LF. (Quentin is hurt for 1/3 of each season)
Byrnes has guaranteed that the Padres will have one of, if not THE worst LF defense in the league for 2/3 of each of the next 3 seasons. (Quentin is hurt for 1/3 of each season)
Byrnes has also guaranteed that the Padres have no money to sign any real threats with the bat by tying up more than 15% of the payroll in one player. (You cant be a threat when you are on the DL 1/3 of each season and have to be removed in late innings of games for a defensive replacement.)
Byrnes has guaranteed that the Padres will be saddled with Quentin; an expensive, injury prone, poor hitting, defensive liability for the next 3 seasons because they gave him a full no-trade clause.
Carlos Quentin, Bust
Face it Padres fans, Quentin is a bust so far. He has hit just .217 with a .359 slg since a 6 game hot streak ended on 6/5. This after spending the first 2 full months of the season on the DL.
At his current pace, IF he is able to play the rest of the season without a trip to the DL, Quentin will hit for a .232 batting average with 16-17 home runs.
His defense ranks 25th in the league with a .982 fielding percentage and -2 DRS this season and is the worst in MLB since the start of the 2009 season. Even Jesus Guzman has been better in the outfield and that says volumes about Quentin’s dearth of skills with the glove.
The question you must ask is what is a player worth that will play 100 games per season and hit .230-.240 with 16-18 home runs while playing horrible defense?
Regardless of Byrnes attempt at justification for signing him, Quentin is not a threat with the bat and he is not protecting the other Padres players in the lineup because:
- #1 he was on the DL the 1st 2 months of the season
- #2 he is not hitting for either average or power in the past month and a half.
Now, I understand that no other MLB team wants to give up good prospects for Quentin and with good reason (those enumerated above and fact that any team trading for him would not get a draft pick if he left in FA), but that is no reason for Byrnes to compound his mistakes by hamstringing the team with Quentin for 3 more seasons.
The sandwich pick the Padres would have received for making Quentin a qualifying offer in arbitration and then watching him walk in free agency is likely worth more and will be MUCH cheaper than 3 seasons of Quentin in a Padres uniform.
If you get the idea I don’t like this signing you are right. I didn’t like the trade that brought Quentin to the Padres in the first place and this just piles stupid on top of stupid.
The only good that may come of this is that the Padres are showing fans a willingness to hold onto players after years having to trade away good players because of payroll considerations during the Moores’ divorce.
It may also mean they will be trading or non-tendering Will Venable, who will be eligible for arbitration for the 2nd time in 2013 and due a raise from his current $1.475 million even though his performance continues to lag far behind his potential. Too much money for a backup outfielder.
I have had my say, now what do you think about the Padres extending Carlos Quentin?
2 thoughts on “Padres GM Byrnes compounds mistakes by extending Quentin for 3 yrs/$30 million”
I can't believe you're calling Quentin a bust for the Padres. The only explanation is that you're missing the forest for the trees.
Quentin is an established power hitter who can change a game with one swing. It's that potential that Byrnes thought the Padres needed, not Quentin's BA or UZR.
The bottom line is that Byrnes got the right guy – 3.1 runs/game in the 50 games he missed, vs 4.5 runs/game in the ones he's played. He also got a fierce competitor who's a positive influence on the kids who will always be a large portion of any Padres roster, and a local guy who gives fans a reason to come to the ballpark.
The acquisition of Carlos Quentin was a huge plus for a team that now looks likely to compete sooner rather than later. You missed it by looking at individual stats rather than the total impact on the club.
Just curious what you think of his post in hindsight?