In an earlier post, we concluded that Hunter Pence is not a "high on base percentage guy" or a "power hitter."
But here's a guy who could fit into both categories. . .
White Sox right fielder Carlos Quentin has not seen his name pop up in the trade deadline rumor mill very often. That's probably because the White Sox are just 3.5 games out of first place and figure to be a strong contender for the American League Central crown.
But the tireless Ken Rosenthal has a new blog post up that suggests the White Sox could be looking to trim payroll over the next five days. And guess who he mentions as a possible trade target?
That's right. Carlos Quentin.
The Phillies were briefly linked to Quentin by a national report during the winter meetings, although nothing ever came of it. We would find out later that the Phillies had bigger fish to sign.
Quentin at the time was something of a question mark. In fact, he still is.
He has suffered from a variety of injuries, and he is not regarded as a strong defensive player. The 131 games he appeared in last season were a career high.
But the man can hit baseballs hard. And he can do it from the right side of the plate.
Quentin is hitting .268 with a .360 on base percentage and .525 slugging percentage this season. He already has 20 home runs in 339 at-bats, to go with 27 doubles, 62 RBI and 42 runs scored. He has played right field regularly for the White Sox, serving as designated hitter in just 11 games. Critical to his success this season has been his ability to hit left-handed pitching. In 2009 and 2010, Quentin hit .213 and .211 against lefties, with a total of 11 home runs in 203 at-bats. This year, though, he is hitting .278/.392/.544 with six home runs in 79 at-bats against lefties.
It's hard to imagine the White Sox trading Quentin, particularly since they have a moveable pitcher in Edwin Jackson who makes $3 million more than Quentin's $5.05 million salary.
But Kenny Williams isn't the most predictable general manager in the world. Maybe he is hearing the type of haul the Astros are hoping to get from Pence. And maybe he is floating a trial balloon on the chance that one of the several teams looking for a right-handed bat will give him an offer he can't refuse.
You have to think that convincing the White Sox to give up Quentin would require a package starting with Domonic Brown. But Quentin is a bona fide middle of the order hitter. And his current salary is manageable. And he does not become a free agent until after next season.
With Paul Konerko in the twilight of his career and the designated hitter as an option, the White Sox could be intrigued by a player like Jonathan Singleton. And every team would be interesting in the type of pitching prospects the Phillies have at Clearwater.
Would Quentin be worth a package of Brown, Singleton and Cosart? Especially considering his defensive limitations, injury history, and reverse righty/lefty splits? Would such a deal be enough for the White Sox, who would probably like to shed their payroll without shedding their chances at contending this season? Would a right-handed power bat like John Mayberry who can contribute in a reserve role this season sweeten the deal at all? Would the Phillies be able to engage the Cardinals in a three-way deal in which Colby Rasmus eventually lands with the White Sox?
Lots of questions. Few answers. Hey, it's the trade deadline. But it's out there.
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