Padres will try to sign Carlos Quentin to contract extension

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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.

Alex Bregman shows how easy it is to manufacture “controversy” in baseball

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In most sports it takes legitimate trash talk to create off-day “controversy.” In baseball, it takes the weakest sauce. We saw how weak that sauce was yesterday.

Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros are going to face off against Nate Eovaldi and the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS tonight. It’s worth noting that earlier this season, they hit back-to-back-to-back home runs off of Eovaldi when he was pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Yesterday, in an act which was likely somewhat inspired by self-motivation, somewhat inspired by getting in Eovaldi’s head and somewhat inspired by a simple interest in having fun, Bregman took the video of those back-to-back-to-back homers off of Eovaldi and posted it to his Instagram:

Of course, since this is baseball, where even farting off-key can be construed as “showing up” the opposition or somehow disrespecting the game, it became a thing. Or at least people tried to make it become a thing.

Indeed, it took them a bit to find someone who would help them make it a thing, because Eovaldi himself didn’t care about it a bit, nor did Astros manager A.J. Hinch or Red Sox manager Alex Cora. Eventually, however, they hit pay dirt. Here’s Sox infielder Steve Pearce talking to WEEI.com:

“Wow. I don’t know why he would do that. We do our talking on the field. If he wants to run his mouth now we’ll see who is talking at the end of the series.”

My guess is that almost no one on the planet, Steve Pearce included, would care about this in a vacuum or if they allowed themselves to think through it for more than a second. Baseball culture, though — and let’s be clear about it, baseball media culture — has conditioned most of its players and participants to think that stuff like this is supposed to be controversial, so it actually takes effort not to start dancing to this kind of tune on auto-pilot.

Kudos to Hinch, Cora and Eolvaldi for exerting that effort and not dancing to it. To the press that automatically sought out comment on this and Pearce who dutifully gave it: hey, I get it. It’s hard to resist one’s conditioning. Maybe you’ll be able to resist it next time.