SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 2: Carlos Quentin #18 of the San Diego Padres hits a single against the Arizona Diamondbacks during their MLB Baseball Game on June 2, 2012 at Petco Park in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
While the Mets' struggles against left-handed starting pitchers may be overblown, every report about the team's trade targets has included either a right-handed hitter or a relief pitcher. The Mets are reportedly one of several teams that has interest in San Diego Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin.
The 29-year-old Quentin missed all of April and most of May after knee surgery near the end of spring training, but he has posted a .399 wOBA since his return thanks to a slash line of .268/.406/.518. Quentin has always hit for power, but his slugging percentage is as high as it's been since he hit 36 home runs in 2008.
Quentin began his career with the Arizona Diamondbacks and has been traded twice. Arizona sent him to the Chicago White Sox for Chris Carter, who is now with the A's, after the 2007 season. The White Sox traded him to the Padres for a pair of prospects after the 2011 season.
Over the course of his career, Quentin is a .253/.349/.491 hitter. Despite the fact that he's a right-handed hitter, Quentin has fared slightly better against right-handed pitchers (.368 wOBA) than left-handed pitchers (.353 wOBA). That doesn't mean that Quentin couldn't help the team against left-handed pitching, but Quentin is the type of player who should play every day.
Defensive metrics generally don't rate Quentin's defense very highly, but much of his defensive downside is the result of an awful season in right field in 2010. The rest of Quentin's seasons have either been slightly above or below neutral.
If the Mets were to acquire Quentin, who is earning $7 million this year and is eligible for free agency after the season, he would immediately add power to the middle of a lineup that has generally lacked it this year. With Jason Bay on the way back, however, the team would suddenly find itself with six outfielders on the 25-man roster — Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Andres Torres, Lucas Duda, and Scott Hairston round out the group.