Carlos Quentin embarked on a minor league rehab assignment earlier this month, but he was shut down after experiencing soreness in his surgically-repaired right knee. Now he’s ready to give it another shot.
According to Corey Brock of MLB.com, Padres manager Bud Black said that Quentin will join High-A Lake Elsinore tomorrow. He got the go-ahead after playing three games in extended spring training earlier this week, twice in the field and once as the designated hitter.
“Now he feels good in his stance, and we think the time off gave him what he needed,” Black said. “It’s very encouraging how he’s feeling right now.”
Quentin, who was acquired from White Sox at the end of December, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on March 19. The San Diego native had 21 at-bats in the minors before his setback, but it’s not clear how many at-bats he’ll need this time around before making his Padres’ debut.
While Quentin will almost certainly miss hitting in U.S. Cellular Field, he should provide a nice boost for an offense which entered play tonight dead-last in the majors with 17 home runs. The 29-year-old outfielder is due to hit free agency this offseason and while there was some brief talk about a possible contract extension, he figures to be trade bait for the rebuilding Padres.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.