The White Sox trimmed about $7 million from their payroll Saturday by trading All-Star outfielder Carlos Quentin to his hometown San Diego Padres for two minor-league pitchers, right-hander Simon Castro and left-hander Pedro Hernandez.
Castro, 23, was 7-8 with a 5.63 ERA over 115 innings combined last season between Class AA San Antonio and Class AAA Tucson in 2011.
Hernandez, 22, combined to go 10-3 with a 3.49 ERA over 116 innings last season between Class A Lake Elsinore, Tucson and San Antonio.
The 6-5 Castro is thought to have the higher upside. He was rated as the Padres' No. 3 prospect by Baseball America before taking a step back last season when he did not make the top-10 list. He pitched for the World Team at the All-Star Futures Game in 2010.
Quentin, 29, batted .254 with 31 doubles, 24 home runs and 77 RBI in 118 games with the Sox in 2011 and was named to his second American League All-Star Team. He missed 36 of the final 37 games with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder. Quentin missed an average of 46 games his last three seasons because of injuries.
Quentin is a former high school athlete of the year in San Diego and he still considers San Diego his home.
"I woke up this morning to find out I was traded to San Diego, and I'm in San Diego,'' he said.
"I knew from how we had performed with the White Sox below expectations from the fan base and front office that pieces could me moved,'' Quentin said. "Wasn't sure when it would happen. I tried to keep my eyes off news publications to keep my mind off things I don't have control over.
"This is going to be a positive. I'm excited.''
Quentin is in his final arbitration year and will be eligible for free agency after the 2012 season. His place in right field will likely be filled by Dayan Viciedo.
The deal has been in the works for about 10 days.
"It's hard to give up pitching prospects,'' Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said. "We like both those guys quite a bit but [we were able to add] a 20-homer bat and multiple All-Star who plays with a lot of intensity.
"He has huge power.''
"Castro twice has been a top 100 prospect. He scuffled at times. He has a quality changeup and slider [to go with his best pitch, a 90-plus fastball] and he's a great kid.''
Quentin said he will miss Chicago, especially his teammates.
"I've always given credit to the Chicago White Sox for making me an everyday player,'' Quentin said. "As far as leaving, I have a lot of emotions in my heart for teammates. We did under-achieve and most of the guys in the clubhouse will admit that.''