The White Sox will be without one of their bashers next season. C. Trent Rosecrans of CBS Sports is reporting that the White Sox have traded Carlos Quentin to the Padres for minor league pitchers Simon Castro and Pedro Hernandez.

Quentin will be a free agent at the end of the 2012 season. In 118 games in 2011, he hit 24 home runs, drove in 77 runs and had a .254 batting average and .340 OBP. 

The value of this trade for the Padres will come down to one question: Can Quentin hit at PETCO Park? Since the park opened in 2004, very few hitters not named Adrian Gonzalez have been able to answer that with a yes.

Quentin is right handed, so there is a benefit there. It’s much easier to hit for power to left field at PETCO than right, but this is going to be a tough adjustment. 

In the National League West, you have to deal with some of the best pitching and best pitcher’s parks in all of baseball. Yes, there’s Coors Field and Chase Field, but PETCO, AT&T Park and Dodger Stadium are all parks that favor the pitcher. 

And of course, Quentin will have to deal with some of the best pitchers that baseball has to offer. Guys like Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson all play their craft in the National League West. 

Leaving the hitter-friendly American League and U.S. Cellular Field will be an adjustment that Quentin will have a hard time making.

Whether this is a terrible move or not will depend on what the prospects amount to for the White Sox. Even if Quentin is a bust, the other players involved need to be good to make the trade a bust. 

But Quentin’s not the kind of hitter that’s going to have a lot of success hitting in San Diego. He’s a career .252 hitter, and even those numbers are skewed by one .288 season. He’s also never played more than 131 games in a season. Lastly, Quentin’s home stadiums have always been hitter-friendly parks. That’s no longer the case. 

Lastly, in San Diego, he’s batting in a lineup that will offer no protection or many chances to drive in runs. In Chicago, there were hitters to fear. In San Diego, it’s one unimposing hitter after another.

This is a grasp for the Padres, but it’s not going to work. He’ll be another version of Ryan Ludwick.


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