Mariners Sign Veteran Carlos Quentin to Minor League Deal


The Seattle Mariners signed veteran outfielder Carlos Quentin to a minor league deal on Wednesday afternoon. Quentin is expected to report initially to the Tacoma Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League. The 32-year-old bats and throws right-handed, and has the ability to defend left and right field.

The Stanford University alum has posted a .252 batting average with 154 home runs and 491 RBI’s across 2790 career at bats. Quentin has done a fabulous job getting on base, as he sports a .347 career on base percentage. He has long been considered one of the premier power threats from the right side of the plate, and his .484 career slugging percentage speaks to this.

Carlos Quentin has never been viewed as a plus defender in the outfield, but he has held his own during his 9-year career. He has split his time fairly evenly between left and right field, but he has played 65 more games in left field. He sports a career .980 fielding percentage, which falls slightly below the .986 league average. The league average 2.26 range factor per 9 innings blows away Quentin’s 1.86 career mark.

Quentin is a 2-time All Star, and he has 1 Silver Slugger Award to his name. His best season as a pro came in 2008 when he finished in the top 5 in MVP voting. Quentin slugged a career high 36 long balls, while driving in a career high 100 runs and posting a career best .288 batting average. He has tallied 10.5 career wins above replacement over the course of his career, with 5.3 WAR coming in 2008.

May 30, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Carlos Quentin (18) during the third inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

However, Carlos Quentin is coming off the worst season of his 9-year career. Quentin spent 2014 with the San Diego Padres, where he posted an atrocious .177 batting average. He only hit 4 dingers and drove in 18 runs across 130 at bats. His .284 on base percentage and .315 slugging percentage were both career lows. His rough season led to a tenuous spot on the Padres’ roster this spring. Ultimately, San Diego sent Quentin to Atlanta in the package for closer Craig Kimbrel. The Braves decided to cut ties with Quentin, and he became a free agent.

Signing the veteran outfielder is a bit of a head scratcher for the M’s. General Manager Jack Zduriencik acquired a trio of right-handed hitting outfielders this offseason. Nelson Cruz has settled into the everyday right fielder role recently, and he has lived up to the hype offensively. Rickie Weeks spent his first 12 seasons at second base, but he has transitioned to left field this season. Weeks has struggled, but he still possesses more upside than Quentin. Justin Ruggiano was acquired from the Chicago Cubs this winter. Ruggiano is a far superior defender, and he has shown the ability to play all three outfield spots this month.

Honestly, I do not even see where Quentin fits in the Tacoma Rainiers outfield. Patrick Kivlehan did a great job with the M’s this spring, and he is in the process of transitioning from third base to left field with the Rainiers. I cannot believe Seattle would bench one of their top prospects in favor of an aging player. With outfielders Franklin Gutierrez, James Jones, Stefen Romero, Shawn O’Malley, Jabari Blash and Julio Morban already on Tacoma’s roster, I have a hard time seeing Quentin getting much playing time.

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Quite frankly, if Zduriencik truly believes Seattle needs another outfielder I would rather have seen the M’s re-sign Endy Chavez. The Mariners released Chavez prior to the start of the season, but the 37-year-old is a quality outfielder who has done a nice job at the plate for Seattle in recent seasons. Scoring runs has not been an issue in the first month of the season; poor pitching and defense have been the downfall for the M’s. Chavez is a superior defender to Quentin, and he was a beloved figure in the Mariners’ clubhouse.

Carlos Quentin has put together a decent career, but this signing does not make sense to me. Quentin has a May 12th opt out clause built into his contract. I do not envision the San Diego product making an impact in the Emerald City any time soon. In honor of Shakespeare’s birthday, I suspect this signing may end up being “Much Ado About Nothing.”

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