The Carlos Quentin Trade: Why Chicago White Sox Fans Shouldn’t Panic Yet

Calm down, White Sox fans.

I – like many others – was away for the New Year’s holiday, but that didn’t stop Kenny Williams from making a move. The White Sox GM shipped Carlos Quentin to the San Diego Padres for two minor league pitchers.

Quentin, who is in his last year being under team control, would have been a free agent after the 2012 season. The off-season has been a confusing one for White Sox fans. The trade of Sergio Santos stirred the rebuilding pot, but then the John Danks extension might have implied that Williams was going to re-buy from his “All-In” team in 2011. But with this recent trade, I have absolutely no idea what in the world is going on. All I ask is that White Sox fans chill out.

Chicago fans in general are some of – if not the biggest – knee-jerk reactors in the country. The majority of Chicago’s fan base makes it hard for people who are not Chicago fans through and through. I’ve already seen people upset with this deal and saying it wasn’t enough.

Really?

Quentin will be a negative win player in Petco Park. His fielding is going to make Brad Hawpe look like Roberto Clemente. Also, Quentin is a pop-fly hitter whose successes depend on home runs. It’s almost certain we can cut Quentin’s home run total in half.

Simon Castro, a prospect that the White Sox got back in the deal, had a very rough 2011. But prior to that, he was one of San Diego’s best prospects. While old, here’s a scouting report of Castro’s stuff from 2010 by Adam Foster.

Simon Castro’s rise up the prospect ranks hasn’t been smooth and easy. The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder spent three seasons between rookie ball and Low-A before getting a chance against upper-minors hitters.

Kudos to the Padres’ player development staff for being so patient with him. It’s hard to keep a mid-90s fastball in the minors for so long. That patience will likely lead to a pitcher who’s ready to make a big-league impact in 2011.

Built similarly to Dontrelle Willis, Castro jumped from Low-A in 2009 to Double-A in 2010, skipping High-A entirely. He was rewarded for a successful Double-A showing with a two-start trial in Triple-A to end the 2010 season. The Dominican Republic native, who has now reached the 140-inning mark in back-to-back seasons, toed the rubber when I was in Surprise on April 1, 2010.

The classic White Sox fan response is a project for Coop! And that’s exactly what it is.

Dayan Viciedo is the logical replacement in rightfield. Viciedo, who has been one of the hottest prospects in the Sox system, will finally get his chance to shine. The jury is still out on Viciedo.  Let’s just hope it’s more of his AAA numbers and not his September MLB numbers. At best, Viciedo will outperform Quentin by a win – I had Quentin projected at 1.6. At worst, he’ll do what an injured Quentin would have done. Contrary to what some Sox fans will tell you, corner outfielders that can’t field don’t have much of a market.

No need to panic from this deal yet. Now if Floyd gets traded, it’s time for worrying.

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