Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said earlier this month that he acquired Carlos Quentin from the White Sox with the idea of eventually signing him to a contract extension. Those talks have apparently been tabled for now, as Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the two sides have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $7.025 million contract.
Quentin, 29, batted .254/.340/.499 with 24 home runs, 77 RBI and an .838 OPS over 483 plate appearances last season with the White Sox.
While Quentin can become a free agent following the 2012 season, it’s probably a good idea to see how his skills translate to the spacious PETCO Park before engaging in contract talks. In addition to concerns about his defense and a potential drop in power, the southern California native has struggled to stay healthy during his six years in the majors.
Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, Justin Verlander was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.
“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”
Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.
The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.