Blue Jays one of many expected to target Quentin, assuming he's available

The Toronto Blue Jays are expected to be among the teams targeting Padres hot-hitting outfielder Carlos Quentin if, as expected, he's made available.

The Blue Jays are said to have long liked Quentin. They had talks this winter about several then-White Sox players, including pitcher Gavin Floyd, and wound up making a trade for closer Sergio Santos. Quentin could be the best hitter on the market this trading season, and his value is only enhanced by an unreal start that includes a 1.734 OPS after a week since returning from offseason knee surgery.

"Wouldn't he look good in left field in Toronto?'' one competing GM wondered aloud. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos declined comment, as is his policy regarding rival players.

The Padres are holding out some slim hope of retaining Quentin, a San Diego product they acquired this winter who's eligible for free agency after the year. However, the Padres are inhibited by exceedingly low revenues and perhaps also by an ownership situation that is expected to remain unsettled at least until the August owners meetings.

"They're in a tough spot on (keeping) Quentin,'' one competing executive opined.

San Diego showed its smarts by trading for Quentin, but their ownership scenario became unsettled weeks after the deal when aspiring owner Jeff Moorad's bid to buy the team from long-time owner John Moores failed late this spring.

The Padres have no $10-million-a-year players currently on their roster, but one baseline comp for Quentin would seem to be Michael Cuddyer's $31.5 million, three-year deal with the Rockies, depending on Quentin's health and finish.

However, it is believed Quentin would seek significantly more than that, as he has a greater ability to carry a team when hot than Cuddyer, as reflected in a stellar .846 career OPS. Quentin has had more injury history than Cuddyer, but when he is sound and hot, he is an even bigger bat than Cuddyer. Obviously, that's the way he is going right now.

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