2010-11 Free Agency

Trade Option: Carlos Quentin

Over in Chi-town, he was once known as “TCQ” and “Q-uperman.” After a trade brought him to the White Sox from the Diamondbacks, Carlos Quentin took the south side by storm in 2008. Since then, it’s been a rash of injuries and disappointment for the once-budding star.

TCQ stands for “The Carlos Quentin,” which is quite a nickname for a guy who hadn’t lived up to expectations but for one season. During that 2008 campaign, Quentin destroyed American League pitching to the tune of .288/36/100 with an OPS of .965. He did that damage in just 130 games, as he missed the final month due to a fractured wrist he suffered after slamming his bat in frustration.

After sub-par seasons in ’09 and ’10, Quentin is now on the market to be traded, according to sources. How would he fit in Philly?

While scouring the Twitter deck and the Facebook machine, I’ve come to find varying opinions on Carlos Quentin. One subject no one talked about was the facial hair. The dude has a pretty mean scruff and might rival Jayson Werth in that department if he felt so inclined…but anyway.

On one hand, many like his power and his bit of upside at 28-years old – after all, he’s just now heading into his prime. The upside would be a reformation to his ’08 days when he was an MVP candidate (he finished fifth) and an All-Star. During that  breakout, Quentin killed right-handed pitching (.303 average) and was fantastic with runners in scoring position (.311 avg/.984 OPS).

As his numbers have diminished, the injuries have mounted and his luck has turned. In 2009, his BABIP was an extremely low .221. Quentin hit, it just seems he hit it right at people. In 2010, that stayed at a fairly-low .245.

On the other hand, the knock on him has always been his ability to hit left-handed pitching. Quentin’s career average against lefties is just .212. How would that fit into the Phillies order already filled with lefty batters?

That, of course, is the issue. Can the Phillies make a play for a guy who can’t hit lefties when the guy he would likely be hitting behind, Ryan Howard, can’t hit lefties either? The power Quentin can provide would more than make up for the loss of a guy like Jayson Werth should the Phils be unable to resign him. Still, what does it matter if he’s right handed if he can’t hit southpaws in this already-too-lefty order?

TCQ’s defense is also ugly. His UZR over the past few seasons in Chicago has been downright awful. You can blame some of that on the fact that he’s dealt with foot ailments over the past two seasons. But you can also blame it on the fact that he’s not a very good fielder. Carlos Quentin is in the lineup, first and foremost, for his bat.

CHANCES: Quentin seems to be very much available and although he wouldn’t be a superb fit in the Phillies outfield because of his defensive deficiencies and left-handed woes, he would be a decent #5 hitter in this order. He’s a Stanford guy too (like Ruben Amaro) which might benefit him. I’ll give this one six Ruben Head’s. There’s a decent chance they make a play for TCQ.

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