It’s being reported by MLB Trade Rumors that the Chicago White Sox have traded Carlos Quentin to the San Diego Padres for a pair of minor league pitchers Simon Castro and Pedro Hernandez. As a guy who follows prospects, this haul that Kenny Williams got for Quentin is a little less than inspiring. San Diego definitely needs as many bats as they can get, and when Quentin isn’t spending time in the mash unit with injuries, he is sometimes productive. But I’m not sure the deal makes much sense for them either.
San Diego recently shipped out it’s #1 starter in Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds, for what is considered a good haul of prospects, including two potential offensive studs in Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal. It doesn’t appear that the Padres are going to compete this season, so getting one year of Carlos Quentin is kind of questionable. In 2013, Quentin becomes a free agent, and it’s doubtful the Padres spend the money it would require to retain him. I guess the Padres could hope that Quentin heats up, and during the summer they could flip him for prospects they perceive to be better than Castro and Hernandez. Last season, Quentin was an All Star for the White Sox, and hit 24 home runs and drove in 77 runs. His defense is normally sub par, and putting him in RF in PetCo is a potential disaster.
The good thing about the trade of Quentin is that he kills the Tigers, and they won’t have to see him anymore. Quentin is a career .286 hitter against Detroit, but he has hit 15 home runs against Detroit in his career. That is more than he has hit against any other team. His OPS against Detroit sits at an impressive .936, so this trade is good news for Tigers fans.
As for White Sox fans, you have to wonder what the hell Kenny Williams and the rest of that organization is doing right now. There seems to be mixed signals coming from the organization on whether they are rebuilding or trying to compete. It would seem with their roster construction, hoping for a bounce back from a couple of players is more prudent, especially considering they just extended their best pitcher in John Danks. I understand that the White Sox may believe that Dayan Viciedo is going to replace Quentin with ease, so moving Quentin was a priority, but I wouldn’t be too sure about that if I were the White Sox.
As for the two pitchers Williams got in return, the main one is Simon Castro. I would imagine that Castro is going to be able to compete for a rotation spot with newly acquired Nestor Molina and Zach Stewart, who the White Sox acquired last season. Castro, has for what seems like forever, been sitting near the top of Padres top 10 prospects lists, up until the last year and a half or so. In 2010, Castro appeared in the Futures game, looked a little rough, and things have kind of been downhill for him since. In AA last season, Castro went 5-6 with an ERA of 4.33, averaging just 7.4 K/9.
Castro throws a fastball with good movement at around 91-94mph regularly. He also owns a slider and a change up, and shows decent command of all of his pitches. His slider has a chance to be an above average pitch, and could get swings and misses at the big league level. His change isn’t all that good, and he slows his arm motion down when he throws the pitch. He also doesn’t hide the ball in his motion either giving him a little less deception on the mound. He is a big dude, so he could hold up over a long season, and I would imagine he will get a chance to start for the White Sox. If not, he could be a potential 2 pitch power guy out of the pen.
Pedro Hernandez isn’t nearly as highly rated as Castro, but he has been a productive pitcher in the Padres minor league system. Just 22 years old and having spent time at three different levels last season, Hernandez doesn’t blow people away with fastballs. He is a somewhat diminutive lefty who uses command and control to be effective. He does have three pitches, with his change up being an above average offering. His fastball typically sits in the upper 80’s and his curve is a fringe big league offering.
Neither of these guys acquired scares me as a Tigers fan, and given the success Quentin has had against the Tigers, all I can say is…..great move Chicago!