Carlos Quentin has always produced when healthy, topping an .800 OPS every year from 2010-2013, but he’s played fewer than 100 games in each of the past three seasons and this winter the Padres decided to move on.
Quentin is still on the roster and under contract for $8 million, but San Diego added Justin Upton Matt Kemp, and Wil Myers in high-profile trades to totally remake the starting outfield and that leaves Quentin without a defensive home.
So in an effort to carve out a potential role the 32-year-old former All-Star asked manager Bud Black if he could spend some time at first base, where the idea of beating out Yonder Alonso for playing time is a little more doable. Quentin has never played first base in the majors, but a veteran with bad knees and a previously good bat can certainly be at home there.
Of course, if Quentin proves that he’s healthy the Padres would probably love to unload his contract–including the $10 million option for 2016–and the best fit for him would seemingly be in the American League as a full-time designated hitter. Quentin seems to recognize that and indicated to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune that he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause if needed.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.