Monday, November 4, 2013
Would signing Kubel make sense?
There needs to be some changes to the roster and the pitching staff is the biggest priority. Numbers like the ones discussed above make it clear that the offense is in need of a boost. The outfield has some open starting spots for 2014 and reuniting with a former player could solve some problems.
Jason Kubel has become a free agent after the Cleveland Indians bought out the remaining part of his contract for $1 million. The former 12th round pick by the Twins became a mainstay in the club's outfield from 2007-2011. As a free agent, he headed to Arizona in 2012 and socked 30 home runs with a 120 OPS+. The 2013 season saw him suffer a quadriceps injury and flounder to his worst professional season.
Before his injury filled 2013, Kubel had been a consistent offensive player. From 2007-2012, his OPS+ ranged from 105-137 and he averaged 21 home runs a season. Those kinds of numbers would have ranked him near the top of the Twins team in 2013.
Even though there were some concerns from hitters in the first two years of Target Field, Kubel didn't seem to mind hitting in the Twins home ballpark. In 2010, the inaugural season for Target Field, Kubel posted similar .746 and .753 OPS marks at home and on the road. Kubel slugged .377 at home and .476 on the road in 2011 but he had 63 more at-bats on the road.
While Oswaldo Arcia and Josh Willingham should be penciled in as starters, there are some decisions to make in the outfield. Willingham was hurt for most of last season and he could probably use some more time at designated hitter. Chris Parmelee didn't impress last year and he might need to play more at first base. This leaves an opportunity for the club to add a veteran bat at a corner outfield spot.
The confetti has hardly settled from the Red Sox championship parade so the free agent hot stove has just begun to get warm. Other teams might be interested in Kubel and there could be better offers on the table than anything the Twins are willing to shell out. For now, it is interesting to think about what he could offer to the club on a short-term deal.
If Kubel's injuries are behind him, he could be poised for a bounce-back season at a discounted price. Minnesota could be just the team to offer him this possibility because of his history with the club. An incentive laden deal could help their former player to regain some value and he could help Minnesota with some of their offensive woes.
It also helps to know that he isn't opposed to a reunion tour with his original organization.
Would signing Kubel to a free agent deal make sense for the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.