Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A flier on Carlos Quentin

The Twins announced Tuesday that they have signed Carlos Quentin to a minor league contract.

Quentin at one point could hit -- he made two All-Star teams while playing for the White Sox, in 2008 and 2011 -- but he's been limited by knee injuries and officially retired last May. He's 32 now, hasn't played in the majors since 2014 and hasn't been anything approaching a regular since 2011.

There's no serious investment in him, to be sure. Quentin's major league salary would be $750,000, which is sizable coin in my world but a pittance for somebody with nine years in the majors.

But I really don't see the fit. The Twins signed a bunch of outfielders to minor league deals this offseason -- Joe Benson, Darrin Mastroianni, Ryan Sweeney -- and those three can all play center field. Even before the knee injuries eroded Quentin's career, he was never a good corner outfielder.

I expect the Twins to open with a regular outfield of Eddie Rosario in left, Bryon Buxton in center and Miguel Sano in right. That trio would leave an opening for a fourth outfielder, but there's Danny Santana and Oswaldo Arcia on hand, and each is out of options. And there's Max Kepler rising from Double A, and there are the other three non-roster invitees.

Even as a DH option, why? Byung Ho Park figures to get a long leash as he acclimates to the American game, but even if the Twins decide to shift to someone else, there's Arcia and Kennys Vargas on hand. (Or Sano if the outfield really doesn't work for him.)

There's so little opportunity for Quentin with the Twins that one has to figure that there was literally nobody else willing to sign him. I seriously doubt that he can even make the Rochester roster.

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