Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Quentin, Street

Were the Padres wise to sign Carlos Quentin and Huston Street to extensions?

My gut reaction is yes, although my head wonders if they'd be able to stay healthy in a heated pennant race. When the on-field stakes for a team rise, frontline players are asked to run on fumes. Closer Heath Bell, to pick an example, red-lined like a champion down the stretch in 2007 and 2010. Quentin and Street have the skills for it, but when both were free agents last winter, some clubs had doubts about their durability. Of course, any problems posed by a heated pennant race should be welcomed by the Padres, who, barring a miracle, will miss the playoffs for the sixth year in a row.

I think the Padres had geography on their side in both negotiations. Street, no dummy, knows that San Diego is an easier place to be a pitcher, even more so a relief pitcher. Quentin, explaining his decision, noted that he grew up in San Diego County and called it an "amazing opportunity" to stay in his hometown. "My family is very excited," Quentin told mlb.com.

I wrote at length last month why the American League, or even the National League Central, may be a better fit for Quentin strictly in a baseball sense. Players also take lifestyle into account, however, and that often plays in the Padres' favor if the club is willing to make a representative offer.

Quentin also said he believes in the organization. I took that as an endorsement of Bud Black, who has done a nimble job of protecting Quentin's surgical knees. To that end, I think Alexi Amarista, the super-utility man who looks comfortable whatever position he plays, is a nice complement to Quentin.

6 comments:

  1. Tom-Interesting stuff as always-I've seen you mention, on a few occasions that a Padres hitter might be a better fit in the NL Central....I can only think, what hitter wouldn't? More hitter friendly parks would be good for anyone wouldn't they?

    Personally speaking I am slightly ambivalent about both signings, but thought they got a good deal on both contracts. Quentin has been a legit MVP candidate on at least 2 occasions and Street is underpaid by at least 1-2M per year, with an option instead of a 3rd guaranteed year.

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  2. Mark, Yep, NL Central is a great place to be a hitter and would be better for any SDP. I just think the smaller OFs there also would be good for Quentin's D and his knees. (AL even better for him in that sense of course). Not sure I agree about Street being underpaid because I've seen so relievers kill it for SDP after costing almost nil, but hard to argue if he keeps pitching like this or 90 percent of this.

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  3. I think both signings made a great deal of sense. Padres need a clean up hitter for the next couple of years and Quentin is 1/2 the price of, for example, Joey Votto. See how impt he has been this year when he got into the line up and they cleaned out the detritus. WRT Street if the Padres are to play .500 ball next year with young players it would be crippling to their confidence if multiple leads get blown in the ninth. Both really good moves.

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    1. Totally agree on the confidence a young team needs with a good closer. I love Heath Bell, but his inablility to lock down the game in the ninth crippled the Marlins early in the year. Would hate to see that happen to the Friars.

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  4. Quentin's presence in the lineup seems to have an effect. In the 49 games before he played his first game, the Padres averaged 3.11 runs/game. In the 55 games he's played they've averaged 4.47 runs/game, and in the 9 games he wasn't in the lineup, the padres have scored 3.11 runs/game again. Since he got off the DL though the Padres are 26-29 when he's played, but 6-3 when he didn't play. That's .500 ball overall - they were 17-32 while he was on the DL.

    I think Josh Byrnes was looking at having an established closer due to Buddy Black's insistence that it's the key to a good bullpen. With a good closer, all the other relievers fall into their roles, and the middle relievers become interchangeable. The Padres have had a great run of bullpens with Trevor and Heath as anchors, so maybe there's something to it.

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    1. IMO the runs per game stat is more telling than the wins and losses. Wins and losses does not take into account who was on the mound aka our number 9, 10 and ll starters.

      I know injuries are a part of the game, but i don' think there is a team out there that could have overcome what our starting staff has gone through this year.

      It seems as though the front office realizes this and is planning on adding to this team, rather than tearing it down and starting all over.

      I like where they are headed.

      Hope they keep Headley around, at least until Gyrko proves he is better.

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