Bob Cluck, a Tampa Bay Rays scout, worked the recent Padres-Giants series. I don't know if Cluck was scouting the Padres, Giants or both for trade purposes, but Tampa Bay, like several other teams in playoff contention, could have a need for right-handed power and left-handed relief.
The Padres (19-39) are on pace to lose 109 games but actually have an impressive righty slugger in Carlos Quentin and a quality lefty reliever in Joe Thatcher.
In his first 27 at-bats as a Padre, Quentin has five home runs and a 1.185 slugging percentage. Quentin, 29, can become a free agent in November. The Padres probably wouldn't receive a compensatory draft pick for losing him as a free agent. The team would have until the July 31st deadline to trade him as Quentin probably wouldn't clear waivers in August. The Padres could try to sign Quentin, or at least tell the media of their intent to sign him, but is he a good bet to stay healthy? Since 2007 he has been on the disabled list seven times, most recently for the knee surgery he underwent in March. Bud Black said Quentin's knee probably will require selective treatment and rest through season's end. Would Quentin have more value to an American League team that could spot him as a designated hitter? Outfields run large in the National League West. Thursday against the Giants, Quentin was out of the lineup against Matt Cain, who has held righties to a .176 batting average this season. Would the Padres land a top prospect for Quentin? The White Sox got two fringe prospects for him from the Padres last offseason and had to eat $1 million of his salary.
Thatcher, 30, has struck out 16 in 15.1 innings this year, with six walks. The lefty has a 2.31 ERA now and 3.26 for his career. His ballpark- and league-adjusted career ERA of 117, listed by baseball-reference.com, qualifies as pretty good.
The Rays have a deep pool of prospects below Double-A but are known for clinging to bona fide prospects.