San Diego made a surprising move to acquire Carlos Quentin from the White Sox over the weekend and yesterday general manager Josh Byrnes indicated that the Padres will try to extend the 29-year-old outfielder’s contract before he’s eligible for free agency next offseason.
“Our payroll model is setting up well,” Byrnes told Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune. “We’re not in total go-for-it mode, but we can make some choices. We acquired Carlos with the thought that we could extend him.”
Padres fans should be encouraged by the willingness to spend some money and keep some players in San Diego, but Quentin is set to make about $7 million this season via arbitration and locking him up long term before seeing how he performs at Petco Park would be a big risk for a player who’s called two hitter-friendly ballparks home in Arizona and Chicago.
For his career Quentin’s home OPS is 100 points higher than his road OPS and his overall production has been good rather than great, so as a right-handed slugger with low batting averages and poor defense he may find it difficult to thrive in the majors’ most pitcher-friendly ballpark.
Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.
Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.
Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:
I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.
The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.
Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.
Jim Leyland also got in on the action:
Go Puerto Rico.