Carlos Quentin hasn’t played since July 30 because of a knee injury and Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that the Padres have “growing concern as to when Quentin will play again this season.”
Quentin, who had offseason surgery on the same knee, tested the knee recently with some physical activity and then went for a second opinion after complaining of soreness.
All of which means he’s no sure thing to play again this season, especially with the Padres not in contention. When healthy enough to be in the lineup Quentin has hit .275 with an .855 OPS to basically match the production from last year that got him a three-year, $27 million contract extension, but he’s played just 82 games after playing just 86 games last season.
Quentin always hits and he’s always injured, which is why the multi-year deal was a risky one for the Padres.
The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.
Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.
Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.