According to a major league source, the Red Sox weren’t engaged in talks for outfielder Carlos Quentin, whom the White Sox traded to the Padres Saturday for pitching prospects Simon Castro and Pedro Hernandez. One of the major concerns regarding Quentin from the Red Sox’ perspective, according to the source, was the 29-year-old’s ability to patrol right field in Fenway Park.
Quentin, who is entering his last year of arbitration eligibility (projecting by MLB Trade Rumors to earn approximately $7.5 million for 2012), has battled injuries throughout the past four seasons. The outfielder’s injuries have ranged from hamstring to shoulder to foot to wrist. While he has hit at least 21 home runs in each of the last four seasons, the San Diego native also hasn’t played in more than 131 games in any of his six major league seasons. He is coming off a 2011 season in which he .254 with an .838 OPS and 24 homers in 118 games for the White Sox.
The Red Sox’ right field scenario currently includes newly-acquired Ryan Sweeney from the left side of the plate, along with holdovers Darnell McDonald and perhaps converted infielder Mike Aviles from the right side. Ryan Kalish, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, figures to enter the mix once cleared to play the outfield sometime early in the season.
As WEEI.com’s Alex Speier points out, even with the departure of Josh Reddick and J.D. Drew, the Sox’ offense won’t have to be reliant on the right field production in ’12 (judging by ’11). As Speier writes:
Right field was one of the foremost positions from which AL teams received offense in 2011 (the .768 OPS of AL right fielders ranked behind only first base (.791) and DH (.771)). But for the Sox, it was, relative to the league, the team’s worst position.
Sox right fielders combined to hit .233 (worst among 14 teams in the AL) with a .299 OBP (also last), .353 slugging mark (13th) and .652 OPS (13th). The team received just 40 extra-base hits from the position (13th).
Despite the team’s pitiful production from the position, the Sox still finished first in the majors in runs (875), runs per game (5.4) and OPS (.810).
Also of some interest to Red Sox fans …
According a major league source, the Sox weren’t heavily in on the perceived top remaining closer on the free agent market, Ryan Madson, at the time Boston acquired reliever Andrew Bailey. The team sensed, according to the source, that Madson’s price wasn’t going to come down to a level which would elicit heavy interest from the Sox. Multiple big league execs surmise that Madson’s agent, Scott Boras, is looking for a deal similar to that of Yankees set-up man Rafael Soriano. Soriano’s deal with New York paid him $35 million over three years, with the opportunity to opt out after any of the seasons.