|SD signed the "Swinging Friar" to play OF |
(photo via Nathan Rupert)
This is not going to happen. Additionally, there have been rumblings that San Diego may try to use Myers as a part of a package to get Cole Hamels.
The 32-year-old outfielder has a very similar profile to Alejandro De Aza (look at their Baseball-Reference pages and see that they’re basically the same player), so acquiring Venable wouldn’t make sense. Additionally, Venable plays good defense in center field (something none of the new acquisitions do well) and is under contract in 2015 for a very affordable $4.25 million, so it’s likely the Padres aren’t all that motivated to move him.
Smith had a career year in 2014 during his first season in San Diego, batting .266/.367/.440 (AVG/OBP/SLG), which was good for a wRC+ of 133. Not only was did his hitting improve, but his walk rate jumped to 13.2% (career 10.6%) while his strikeout rate dropped to 16.7% (career 18.8%). It doesn’t appear to be luck driven either, as his BABIP was at his career level and his batted ball statistics were mostly near career averages as well (save for a huge drop in infield fly balls). And although Smith may not initially be thought of as a good defender, he’s actually decent in left field, being worth 4 Defensive Runs Saved in almost 3,000 innings.
With a career wRC+ of 63 against left-handed pitching (123 wRC+ against RHP), Smith is strictly a platoon bat. However, with the versatility of Steve Pearce, the Orioles should be able to move some players around so that Smith would never have to see a left-handed pitcher. He signed a two-year, $13 million extension in July, so he would be a good trade target for Baltimore considering his relatively low salary and two years of control. He didn’t receive a no-trade clause as part of that extension, but he was given assurances by the team that he wouldn’t be traded after signing, which likely decreases the chance (or increases the price) of the Padres dealing him.
|Carlos Quentin career statistics (*combined DRS between LF and RF)|
Make no mistake, Carlos Quentin can hit a baseball, and it doesn’t matter if it’s being thrown by a right-handed pitcher or a left-handed pitcher (he’s actually better against RHP). Additionally, Quentin is only owed $8 million in 2015, with a $10 million mutual option in 2016 (with a $3 million buyout), which according to Marc Normandin, is no longer an issue.
Just noticed Quentin is only owed a $3M option buyout if he plays 320 games between 2013-2015, a feat that is now mathematically impossible
— Marc Normandin (@Marc_Normandin) December 22, 2014
However, if you look at his outfield defensive numbers in the table above, he loses quite a bit of value when he’s actually in the field. Essentially when Quentin plays, he’s a better version of Delmon Young, without the platoon issues. However, that’s the other issue with Quentin: His lack of durability has limited him to no more than 340 plate appearances in a season since 2011. Looking at his injury page on Baseball Prospectus is downright frightening, and injuries to both knees have caused him to miss 240 games since the start of the 2012 season.
Quentin belongs in the American League where he can avoid playing the field altogether. As long as he’s healthy, Quentin would be a good target for the Orioles as a replacement for Delmon Young/full-time DH. Based on his injury history, the Orioles should be able to acquire Quentin cheaply in terms of prospects, and if they could get the Padres to cover at least half his salary (if not more), he’d be a gamble worth taking.
When the Justin Upton deal went down, Maybin was the first Padre outfielder that came to my mind, resulting in this tweet.
If I were the #Orioles I'd maybe ask if #Padres could just give me Cameron Maybin (assuming health of course).
— OriolesProvingGround (@OriolesPG) December 19, 2014
After taking some additional time to think about it, two years and $16 million may be a little expensive for Maybin’s services (Maybin is owed $7 million in 2015, $8 million in 2016, and a $9 million club option in 2017, with a $1 million buyout). Similar to Quentin, Maybin’s track record of health (or lack thereof) is concerning, to the point that it would be foolish to count on him for a full season. Due to knee, wrist, and shoulder injuries, he’s tallied only 329 plate appearances the last two years, and those plate appearances haven’t gone well (a 30 wRC+ in 57 PA’s in 2013 and a 77 wRC+ in 272 PA’s in 2014).
Thanks to decent hitting (96 wRC+), excellent center field defense (24 DRS), and good baserunning (15.4 BsR), Maybin was worth 6.5 fWAR between 2011-2012. And as a former top prospect (ESPN’s Keith Law ranked him #29 in his 2009 top 100), he’s the obvious upside play of this group. As a prospect, he was projected as a possible 30 home run bat. He hasn’t hit for much power in the major leagues (career ISO of .110), but at 27 years old (he’ll play the 2015 season at 28), there is still a chance that power shows up, although that chance is admittedly small.
Even if the Padres provide some financial relief, a Maybin acquisition is risky. Not only is his health a major concern, but his strengths (defense and baserunning) don’t have as much value to a team like the Orioles, who already have two similar players in David Lough and De Aza on their roster.
Cameron Maybin potentially has the chance to add more value to the 2015 Orioles than any other of the San Diego outfielders, but the chances that he stays healthy AND hits well are relatively small. For a team that plans on contending in 2015, the Orioles probably shouldn't be taking the chance of both happening in 2015.
Seth Smith, Carlos Quentin, and Cameron Maybin could each be a possible fit for the Orioles. None of these players should cost too much in terms of prospects (especially true for Quentin and Maybin), but whether it’s platoon issues, injuries, or ineffectiveness, each player comes with his own limitations. Given the makeup of the roster and the Orioles' plans for contention in 2015, Carlos Quentin (if healthy) is likely the best (and most realistic) San Diego outfielder for Baltimore to target this offseason. Although as mentioned previously on Camden Depot, the Orioles could do just end up doing nothing, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.