One of the top available bats is now off the market.
According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin — who had been drawing trade interest from a number of teams — agreed to a three-year, $27 million contract extension on Sunday morning with San Diego. The deal could carry a total value of $30 million if the 29-year-old slugger is able to climb his way to certain statistical plateaus.
Quentin is batting .273/.389/.525 with nine home runs, eight doubles and 22 RBI through 167 plate appearances this season. The fourth-place Friars will attempt to build an offense around him in the coming years. They do have an incredible amount of depth and promise in their minor league system.
Heyman suspects that the Padres will also try to lock up closer Huston Street instead of trading him.
In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.
“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.
“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.
Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.