D-backs trade Quentin to White Sox
Arizona receives Minor League first baseman Carter in return
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The D-backs were the first team to make a trade at the Winter Meetings on Monday, as they dealt outfielder Carlos Quentin to the White Sox for Minor League first baseman Chris Carter.
"He's got a nice power track record already in the Minors," D-backs GM Josh Byrnes said. "He's a college-aged junior prospect that's ready to go to High A and continue as a very solid power bat prospect."
Quentin was one of the D-backs' top prospects and went into Spring Training last year as Arizona's starting right fielder. He injured his left shoulder while swinging midway through Spring Training and was forced to start the year on the disabled list.
Whether because of the shoulder injury or not, Quentin never was able to get going offensively and was demoted to Triple-A in July. He returned later in the month, but then injured his hamstring and was placed on the disabled list.
Justin Upton was called up from Double-A to take Quentin's spot and eventually passed him on the depth chart and made him expendable. Arizona talked to just about every team in baseball about Quentin before finally deciding that Carter provided the most value.
"It comes down to getting the best return for Carlos, and we felt like this was it," Byrnes said. "We looked at a lot of ways to line up the best trade value for us and we like Chris Carter."
One baseball executive compared the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Carter to former D-back Richie Sexson and scouts raved about his power potential.
While he did strike out 112 times, it's worth noting that his strikeout rate improved to one every 4.1 at-bats in 2007 from one every 3.4 at-bats in 2006.
Kuroda update: Byrnes was hoping to meet later in the day with the agents for free-agent Japanese pitcher Hiroki Kuroda.
The right-hander has been a target of the D-backs, who have offered him a three-year deal worth around $30 million. The Mariners and Dodgers are also said to be heavily pursuing him.
Seattle, which has been rumored to be the favorite, has offered him four years, $44 million according to the Tacoma News Tribune.
That didn't seem to dissuade the D-backs any.
"There are a lot of ways to construct contracts," said Byrnes. "Obviously it's sort of a bidding process, but we have some discipline and checks and balances about what we think is an offer that's appropriate."
Waiting game: The D-backs are believed to be interested in Oakland right-hander Dan Haren, but there will be little movement on that front until the Johan Santana sweepstakes is settled.
"I think logically that's probably the first thing that happens, and it sets the landscape behind it," Byrnes said of the potential Santana deal.
With the losers of the Santana bidding expected to turn their attention to Haren, his price tag may wind up being more than Arizona is willing to pay.
Lyon wants extension: Barry Meister, the agent for reliever Brandon Lyon, was at the meetings and said he hopes at some point to discuss the possibility of an extension for the right-hander.
Lyon, who was 6-4 with a 2.68 ERA in 2007 as Arizona's prime setup man, is eligible for salary arbitration this year and will be a free agent after the 2008 season.
"There aren't many setup men with his numbers out there," Meister said.
Job hunting: Former D-backs outfielder Steve Finley was at the meetings and is hoping to catch on with a team this year. The 42-year-old hit .181 in 43 games for the Rockies last season.
"I think I can still play and help a team," he said.
Former D-backs hitting coach Kevin Seitzer was also spotted in the lobby. Seitzer, who was dismissed last year at the All-Star break, was a finalist for one team's hitting coordinator position.
Rule 5: The trade of Quentin leaves the D-backs with one spot open on their 40-man roster. That means they could participate in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday, but are unlikely to do so unless one of two players they have their eye on slips to them at No. 26.
One player Arizona could lose in the draft is infielder Jamie D'Antona.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.