In our continuing series examining the futures of White Sox players not under contract for 2011, Carlos Quentin is up to bat.
Eligible for salary arbitration for the second time, Quentin will be tendered a contract by the Sox and he should command a one-year deal in the $5-6 million range after hitting 26 homers and driving in 87 runs this season.
Is the tightly wound Quentin coming back next year or is he going to be traded? That's a question GM Kenny Williams is undoubtedly weighing right now.
Let's take a closer look.
PROS: When he's locked in, Quentin can do as much damage as any hitter in baseball. Who can forget that four-game stretch in July when the 28-year-old right fielder set a franchise record with 6 HR in 4 games?
And even when he's going bad at the plate, Quentin has a knack for knocking in runs. Driving in 87 while hitting .243 is no easy feat.
CONS: Quentin closed the first half of the season as the hottest hitter in baseball. But in the White Sox' first game after the all-star break, he was hit on the hand by a pitch from the Twins' Kevin Slowey and went into a deep slump.
Quentin also battled shoulder, knee and ankle injuries through the season and was limited to 131 games. That was actually a career high, which tells you something about his health issues.
In addition, Quentin is one of the worst defensive right fielders in the game, and he still sulks when he's not producing at the plate.
POSSIBLE REPLACEMENTS: Jayson Werth? Too pricey. Magglio Ordonez? Past his prime. Jermaine Dye? Way past his prime. Jordan Danks? Too raw.
Kenny Williams would likely have to trade Quentin and there should be plenty of interested teams. I'll stick with my earlier proposal _ Quentin and Gavin Floyd to the Orioles for RF Nick Markakis, one of the most complete players in the game.
Baltimore would have to add a quality minor-league prospect or maybe a middle reliever to balance out the deal.
THE QUOTE: "Carlos is a guy who goes out there and tries too hard. The only person to help Carlos is Carlos. You look at the numbers and say, 'Wow, if this guy can have a little fun in the game, he can be very, very dangerous'" - Ozzie Guillen.
GUT FEELING: The White Sox give Quentin one more year to put it all together.