White Sox deal Carlos Quentin to Padres
SAN DIEGO -- Four years after trading Carlos Quentin from Arizona to the Chicago White Sox, new Padres general manager Josh Byrnes is bringing the All-Star outfielder back west, and home to San Diego.
Byrnes made his second bold move in two weeks when he acquired Quentin from the White Sox for two prospects Saturday.
"It's exciting. First of all with the trade happening this morning, your whole life has been shifted," Quentin said. "It will take time to set in but it's exciting that it's shifting to San Diego where I grew up. It's definitely a positive to me and I look forward to contributing to the Padres."
The trade is expected to bolster San Diego's anemic offense. Quentin has four consecutive 20-homer seasons, including 36 in 2008.
"Trading him is pretty high on my list of regrets," Byrnes said. "That group in Arizona had a lot of talent. Carlos always stood out for his intensity and his style of play. Having a chance to get him back became very appealing here this offseason."
Quentin will play left field.
The White Sox received minor league pitchers Simon Castro, a right-hander, and Pedro Hernandez, a left-hander.
Quentin is arbitration-eligible for the last time before becoming a free agent after the 2012 season. He is expected to receive between $6 million and $7 million. The date for exchanging salary arbitration figures is Jan. 18, and arbitration hearings begin Feb. 1 in Florida.
With Quentin leaving, White Sox GM Kenny Williams calls Dayan Viciedo the "favorite to start in right field."
During negotiations for Quentin, Williams said a few deals had fallen through until San Diego came back with an offer the White Sox brass liked.
"... Both are guys we can ultimately see (in the major leagues) very quickly here," Williams said. "We have keys we see with Castro to take care of and get back on track after being one of the best prospects in the game just a year ago. Hernandez is a strike-throwing machine who has the tools that we look for in our ballpark."
As general manager of the Diamondbacks, Byrnes traded Quentin to the White Sox for first baseman Chris Carter in December 2007. The Diamondbacks picked Quentin in the first round of the 2003 amateur draft after he helped Stanford reach the College World Series three straight times.
A shoulder injury limited Quentin to just one game in the final month of 2011, but Byrnes said the outfielder is healthy.
"I've always given credit to the White Sox for putting me on the field and establishing myself as an everyday baseball player," Quentin said. "I will always thank them. As far as leaving, I have a lot of emotion and love in my heart for my teammates.
"Unfortunately we underachieved and everybody in that clubhouse will admit that. Being traded is a function of what happened. As far as unfinished business, it's nothing I will focus on. It's about helping the Padres in 2012. I can't feel enough respect for the White Sox (organization) for giving me the opportunity to become a major league player."
The 29-year-old Quentin hit .254 with 24 home runs, a career-high 31 doubles and 77 RBIs in 118 games in 2011, when he made his second All-Star team.
In 2008, he made his first All-Star team, won the Silver Slugger award and finished in the top five of AL Most Valuable Player voting.
Quentin has heard the talk about how spacious Petco Park eats up fly balls, but isn't worried.
"I was here when the park was first built and I'm familiar with it. I played in it," he said. "I'm fortunate to have the size physically and be able to be successful personally. I've always had the approach of hitting first and staying within myself. I've found that to be most ideal to produce power. I'm not planning on changing that at all. I'll become familiar with the ballpark."
Byrnes believes Quentin will be fine.
"He's got huge power, so he has hit a good number of homers to right, right-center," the GM said. "It's a tall order for any player in Petco, but from center to the left-field foul pole, they're gone in any park. ... Since we play half our games on the road, he'll be a real threat. When we were down two or three runs, we didn't have enough of a threat in the lineup. We feel Carlos will bring that."
Quentin attended grade school in suburban Chula Vista and was a three-sport standout at San Diego's University of San Diego High.
He was named San Diego's Male Athlete of the Year in 2000. He was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award in 2003, his last college season.
Castro, 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, went a combined 7-8 with a 5.63 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 22 starts between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson in 2011.
Castro also pitched for the World Team at the All-Star Futures Game in Anaheim, Calif., in 2010.
Hernandez, 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds, combined to go 10-3 with a 3.49 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 28 games (18 starts) last season between Class A Lake Elsinore, Tucson and San Antonio.
The Padres, last in the NL West in 2011 at 71-91, were dreadful offensively. They had the lowest batting average in the NL (.237); the second-highest strikeout total in the majors (1,320); the fewest homers in the majors (91); and scored only 593 runs, second-fewest in the NL.
Information from ESPNChicago.com's Doug Padilla and The Associated Press was used in this report.