Indians acquire Jason Kubel from Diamondbacks
Hoping to find an offensive solution, Tribe trades for lefty slugger
By Jim Berdysz
August 30, 2013
Three short weeks after Mark Reynolds was designated for assignment, Cleveland has found themselves another power bat.
This time from the left side.
The Indians announced Friday the team has acquired outfielder Jason Kubel and cash in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks for a minor league pitcher to be named later. The Diamondbacks are picking almost all of Kubel's remaining salary for 2013 and also the $1 million buyout for 2014. In exchange the Indians will send a minor league pitcher that is said to be a fringe prospect. To make room on the 40-man roster, left-handed pitcher Scott Barnes was recalled from Triple-A Columbus and added to the 60-day disabled list (left wrist sprain).
Kubel, 31, has struggled for the better part of this season with the DBacks, hitting .220 with five homers and 32 RBI in 89 games. It was just last year the left-handed slugger belted a career-high 30 homers and drove in 90 runs in his first year with Arizona.
Hoping to find a potential solution to their offensive woes, Kubel averaged 24 home runs a year between 2008-2012. Making $7.5 million in 2013, the left-handed hitter is in the final year of a two-year, $16 million contract he signed before the 2012 season. The contract also includes a $7.5 million mutual option for 2014.
A career .265 hitter, Kubel is no stranger to the American League Central, having played the better part of seven years with the Minnesota Twins from 2004-2011.
Cleveland claimed Kubel off waivers from the Twins along with Jim Thome back in 2011, but the team chose to instead strike a deal for the longtime fan favorite.
Kubel comes to the Tribe admist a tough stretch of baseball as the team enters a critical three-game series with division rival Detroit Tigers. With utility man Ryan Raburn sidelined on the 15-day DL with a strained left Achillies, Kubel can fill the void filling in as a designated hitter or playing one of the corner outfield spots.
He is expected to join the team in Motown on Saturday, and will wear No. 12.
Offensively, the Indians rank last in the American League in average (.227), on-base percentage (.295) and slugging percentage (.354) in the month of August. The team has scored just 85 runs over their last 26 games.
Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Not here in Phoenix. Kevin Towers is appropriately getting blamed for a lousy season. This guy built his rep on being a bull pen savant - and the D'backs have the worst of the worst - most blown saves.
This bull$#@! of a bull pen has; DFA'd the 'pivotial' inclusion of Tony Sipp in the Bauer deal - Towers situational lefty extrodinare.
Is paying Heath Bell NINE MILLION to be JJ Putz's 'insurance' as closer - a role he blew spectacularly.
The Sipp mistake directly led to trading a struggling Ian Kennedy to his old club for another situational lefty - Towers version of a trading deadline deal to bolster the teams fading race for the final wildcard spot.
Oh Yeah - KENNEDY OPENED AS THE #1 STARTER???!!!
Kevin Towers is a twit - and Arizona has gone from contender club to a mess up and down the field because of him.
AS for Kubal. His struggles date to July last year and as a result he has be one of several scapegoats. (Much as Towers and crew did with Bauer last year)
Who knows. If he can string together a few games it's worth a marginal farm arm.
Even on a very down year, he is a much better option offensively than anyone the Indians had in the high minors.
I, too, Joe, would have like Kubel to arrive at the beginning of the Atlanta series. But I would have like to have met my wife a few years earlier, also. But we can't control many things, and as Tony pointed out, Kubel wasn't DFA'd until Wednesday.
I think Kubel will make a good platoon with Stubbs in outfield and you can rotate Swish, Santana, Gomes, & Giambi between DH, 1st and catcher slots. When Raburn returns, I wouldn't mind seeing Stubbs occasionaly play with Raburn in outfield against lefties by spelling Bourn and Brantley.
If Kubel returns to form this month being in familiar American League Central, then it might be worth considering bringing him back next year to fill the Giambi spot on roster.