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Agree to a three-year, $27 million extension with OF-R Carlos Quentin. [7/22]

When the Padres acquired Quentin, I wrote:

Calling the Padres’ acquisition of Quentin a precursor to another move—either now or later—is a safe bet. But the real action is on how many times Quentin causes Arizona fans to curse him and Byrnes’s name in the interim.

While technically a move, an extension is not what I had in mind.

According to Jon Heyman, who broke the news, San Diego compares Quentin to Josh Willingham, Michael Cuddyer, and Edwin Encarnacion: three bat-first players that received recent three-year deals. The comparisons work; since 2009, Quentin has a better true average than Cuddyer and Encarnacion while finishing about 20 points behind Willingham.

There’s no denying Quentin’s offensive ability, but defensive and durability concerns mitigate some of that offensive value. Quentin has appeared in more than 120 games in a season twice. Even if he plays in the Padres’ remaining 65 games this season, he would have 105 appearances on the year. Quentin can help a ballclub win; he’s just more unreliable than the typical hitter.

San Diego’s reasoning for extending Quentin seems two-fold. For one, they have a new incoming ownership. Nothing boosts a new owner’s image like spending money and re-signing the team’s best players. For two, Quentin makes the Padres better. San Diego did have seven outfielders among Kevin Goldstein’s preseason top 20 list but only one in the top 10 (Rymer Liriano), so it’s hard to bank on the others becoming starters.

That means the two nits to pick with this extension are the opportunity cost and the no-trade clause. It’s doubtful that San Diego could have signed a batter of Quentin’s quality at a similar cost this offseason. As the old parlance goes: the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t—even if you’ve only known that devil for 40 games. —R.J. Anderson

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The Padres started talked about extending Quentin as soon as they acquired him over the winter. Byrnes is on record as saying one of his biggest regrets while serving as Arizona's GM was trading away Quentin in the first place. Many people saw this as a rental/flip situation, but I don't believe Byrnes ever shared their view.
Jon Heyman? *cringe* Really? I just don't see how those comparisons work. Willingham and Cuddyer are 3 years older and Encarnacion's a 3B/DH. Willingham and Encarnacion are also in a DH league which gives them a bit of a cushion in case of injury. Also, Cuddyer's contract is already considered a little overpriced and he's trade bait.

That's even before you get to, as mentioned in the article, that Quentin's almost never healthy.

And even then, the Padres are probably still a few pieces from being contenders until 2013.