Carlos Quentin off the DL, batting cleanup in Padres debut

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Knee surgery caused Carlos Quentin to miss the first 49 games after the Padres acquired him from the White Sox in December, but now he’s off the disabled list and jumping right into the cleanup spot for his San Diego debut today.

Quentin put up big power numbers for the White Sox, averaging 34 homers per 150 games, but also missed an average of 43 games per season with injuries and benefited from a hitter-friendly home ballpark.

Already the Padres have seen the oft-injured aspect of Quentin’s game and it’ll be interesting to see how his power translates moving to the majors’ most extreme pitcher-friendly ballpark. So far this season Padres hitters have combined for an MLB-low 18 homers in 1,812 plate appearances, producing a measly .326 slugging percentage.

Report: Astros extend Justin Verlander for two years, $66 million

Justin Verlander
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The Astros are in agreement with right-hander Justin Verlander on a two-year, $66 million extension, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was among those to report on Friday. With no money deferred, the $33 million he’ll receive over the next two years will set a record AAV for major-league pitchers; something MLB Network’s Jon Heyman says matters to Verlander, who “cares how his deals affect markets (and fellow players).”

While it’s far from the five-year, $100 million extension teammate Alex Bregman signed with the club on Friday, the deal will give the Astros a bigger window to consider their long-term plans for the ace before he hits free agency again. Prior to Saturday’s agreement, Verlander’s original contract — the hefty seven-year, $180 million arrangement he reached with the Tigers in 2013 — was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2019 season.

It’s difficult to overestimate the value Verlander has provided to the Astros since they acquired him from the Tigers back in 2017. He was named the 2017 ALCS MVP following seven shutout innings in a must-win Game 6 performance and helped the Astros clinch their first franchise World Series title. In 2018, he earned his seventh career All-Star distinction and received consideration for both AL Cy Young and MVP awards after pitching to a 16-9 record in 34 starts with a 2.52 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, 12.2 SO/9 (the product of a career-high 290 strikeouts), and 6.7 fWAR over 214 innings.

The deal has not been confirmed by the team.