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.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Orioles “are moving aggressively on Manny Machado trade talks and now believe they can trade him by the end of the week.” There are reportedly “strong offers” for Machado from both the White Sox, per Ken Rosenthal, and the Cardinals, per Nightengale. The Giants, Red Sox, Phillies, and Yankees are also reportedly involved in talks, though it does seem unlikely that the O’s would trade Machado to a division rival.
Machado, 25, is a guy around which a team could build a franchise. The Orioles, however, seem resigned to the notion that they will not be able to sign him to a long term contract once he hits free agency a year from now. If they do deal him, it would not be terribly shocking to see the O’s just go all-in with a full rebuild, putting relievers Brad Brach and Zach Britton and outfielder Adam Jones on the market, given that they too can become free agents following the 2018 season.
Machado had a down 2017, hitting .259/.310/.471, but still hit 33 homers and drove in 95 runs. In the two years prior he posted OPSs of .876 and .861. As such, the price for a team to acquire him will be high, even if he’s entering his walk year.