“Exit Strategy”, starring Kyle Blanks

By Wednesday night I’m usually carrying serious sleep debt so with the Padres holding a slim lead against the Dodgers I hit the hay early last night. Today I feel refreshed. Today also means that I’m learning about Kyle Blanks’ demotion to AAA Tucson for the first time.

The move was necessary . . . wait . . . I mean a move was necessary.

We discussed the return of Cameron Maybin earlier this week in our semi-weekly Bar post and while we all thought there existed the possibility of a Blanks demotion we all figured it would most likely be Jesus Guzman who left the stage.

There is outrage amongst Padres fans and I believe it is justified. I love Kyle Blanks. I love the possibility of what he could be as the Padres everyday left fielder. But I’m not totally against this move. In fact it might be a good thing that Blanks leaves for Tucson this morning if the Padres are thinking long term. The outfield is obviously crowded with Quentin, Venable, Denorfia, Amarista, Guzman, Kotsay, and Maybin, who returns today. Blanks is just one more body mucking-up the playing time of the others – and to be traded, the others must play.

If consistent playing time can be given to players like Venable and Denorfia in platoon positions where they thrive, they may become more desirable to teams competing at the July trade deadline. Will Venable is fool’s gold and if letting him play means that the Padres can trick some team into taking that 30 year-old hack then I’m all for it. Norf, on the other hand, is more difficult to let go. I like him a lot but he’s on the wrong side of 30 and his skill set is likely one that will be desired by a contending team later this summer. If the Padres can get something for Norf, then let him go.

If the Padres can get Carlos Quentin the type of playing time that allows him to rest consistently and then to use that fresh body to mash baseballs then maybe the Padres can deal him back to the American League* where he belongs. This would absolve the team of of both salary and unreliable fragility.

*Assuming he is willing to wave his no-trade clause.

Kotsay and Guzman are just filling out roster spots and Amarista is a role player who can do time in both the infield and outfield. But Blanks could be a full time player . . . if they jettison some of the excess bodies.

Maybe this is the Padres’ exit strategy?

I contribute to Padres Public on Thursday mornings and when I’m feeling particularly inspired. I can also be found on twitter at @AvengingJM where I comment on ___________ , 7 days a week.

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  • KC

    Agree 100%. Deno/Will are NOT the future of the Padres. At best, they’re 4th and 5th outfielders who should be used for PH and defensive substitutions, not run out there every day. Blanks has proven that if he can stay healthy, he can play.
    The best OF combo right now for the Pads would be Quentin/Maybin/Blanks. I hope that after July 15, that’s what we will see.

    • If it includes the version of Cameron Maybin from last night’s game, sign me up.

  • GoldenBoy

    Agreed. I wouldn’t want much of a return for Qunitin or Venable on the trade market. One B- level prospect in return would be fine with me. I do wonder if there will be any demand for these guys amongst contending teams.
    Regardless, it’s good to remind ourselves that this is a good problem to have. Injuries always happen, and having tons of offensive depth is a great asset.

    • I wouldn’t care about what we got in return either. It would be more about opening up some space.

  • John Wright

    As much as we would all love to get out of Quentin’s contract, I don’t see him going anywhere. He just had his first son; if he is missing games for a couple of days afterwards, I doubt he is going to want to move away.

    That no-trade clause is killer. A huge mistake start-to-finish by Byrnes.

  • padresfansince1969

    Love Kyle Blanks … thanks for the hope (that this move is part of a long-term plan for Kyle Blanks to be part of the next Padres team to make the playoffs)!

  • ballybunion

    The one thing that was missing with the Padres in 2011 that prevented them from building on the previous year was a replacement home run hitter for Adrian. That’s why Byrnes got Quentin. The thing about Quentin is that his impact goes beyond his stats – he makes others in the lineup better.

    Quentin played consistently in last year’s second half, and it was no coincidence that Headley’s game took off. With Alonso making great progress over his rookie year, Cabrera finally maturing and Gyorko looking like the real deal, the Padres now have a very promising offense. Quentin is definitely the keystone.

    The problem the Padres have is who can play CF and contribute at the plate. Maybin WAS that guy, but they have only Venable who can field the position long term, neither Denorfia nor Amarista can hold it down for more than a couple games at a time. By now, the Padres are just as aware as the fans of what they have in Blanks. They first have to see what they can get out of Maybin before they make any moves. Until then, Blanks will play every day in Tucson so he won’t be rusty when he comes back to play every day here.

    The word of the day is PATIENCE.