Being traded from the Chicago White Sox to his hometown San Diego Padres couldn't have been any more convenient for All-Star outfielder and Stanford grad Carlos Quentin.
"I get a call and they said I've been traded to San Diego. I'm already here," Quentin said on a conference call shortly after the trade was announced Saturday.
Four years after trading Quentin from Arizona to the White Sox, new Padres general manager Josh Byrnes is bringing him home.
Byrnes made his second bold move in two weeks when he acquired Quentin for two prospects.
"Trading him is pretty high on my list of regrets," Byrnes said. "That group in Arizona had a lot of talent. Carlos always stood out for his intensity and his style of play. Having a chance to get him back became very appealing here this offseason."
The trade is expected to bolster San Diego's offense, which was dreadful as the Padres finished last in the NL West at 71-91, 23 games behind the Diamondbacks. Quentin has four consecutive 20-homer seasons, including 36 in 2008.
"Improving our offense is a priority this offseason and the acquisition of Carlos gives us a proven middle-of-the-order bat," Byrnes said. "We specifically targeted Carlos because of his production and his hard-nosed style of play."
While Quentin started the last two seasons in right field for the White Sox, he's penciled into left field with the Padres.
While GM of the Diamondbacks, Byrnes traded Quentin to the White Sox for minor league first baseman Chris Carter in December 2007. The Diamondbacks had taken Quentin in the first round of the 2003 amateur draft after he helped Stanford reach the College World Series three straight times.
Byrnes said the Diamondbacks had a surplus of outfielders in 2007 and moving Quentin helped build a trade package for Dan Haren, who was obtained from Oakland 11 days after Quentin was traded to Chicago. Carter was one of six players Arizona sent to Oakland in the Haren deal.
"My real regret is really how much over time we missed his intensity," said Byrnes, who oversaw an NL West title in 2007 with Arizona, but was fired in July 2010. "A group that had success and now failure and now success, could have used his personality around a little bit."
A shoulder injury limited Quentin to just one game in the final month of 2011, but Byrnes said the outfielder is healthy.
The 29-year-old Quentin hit .254 with 24 home runs, a career-high 31 doubles and 77 RBIs in 118 games in 2011, when he made his second All-Star team.
In 2008, he made his first All-Star team, won the Silver Slugger award and finished in the top five of AL Most Valuable Player voting.
Quentin has heard the talk about how spacious Petco Park eats up fly balls, but isn't worried.
"I was here when the park was first built and I'm familiar with it. I played in it. I'm fortunate to have the size physically and be able to be successful personally. I've always had the approach of hitting first and staying within myself. I've found that to be most ideal to produce power. I'm not planning on changing that at all. I'll become familiar with the ballpark."
Quentin attended grade school in suburban Chula Vista and was a three-sport standout at University of San Diego High. He was chosen San Diego's Male Athlete of the Year in 2000.
He was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award during his last college season, 2003.