Saturday, December 14, 2013

The return of Jason Kubel

Jason Kubel: He's back, more or less, with the Twins.
The Twins on Friday signed old friend Jason Kubel to a minor-league deal.

It's a move that doesn't make sense to me on either end.

The Twins have plenty of minimal defense corner outfielders already: Josh Willingham, Ryan Doumit, Oswaldo Arcia, Chris Parmelee.

And, granted, Kubel had a miserable 2012 (.216/.292/.317), split between Arizona and Cleveland. But was his market really so limited that he had to settle for a minor league contract in a hitting environment (Target Field) he was known to have disliked before he left as a free agent?

Kubel turns 32 in May, and it's certainly plausible that he can bounce back as a hitter. It's also likely that his best years are behind him -- which is also true of Willingham and Doumit as well. All three are on the wrong side of 30.

If Kubel couldn't find a major league roster spot -- and he didn't -- that suggests a very weak trade market for Willingham and Doumit.

My real fear is that Kubel will become an excuse for the Twins to bat Arcia around like a ping pong ball. I don't want to see another year in which the kid strikes out three times on Wednesday, sits Thursday and Friday, pinch hits on Saturday and goes down to Rochester on Sunday. I want Arcia hitting cleanup on a regular basis. I want to see some patience with him.

There's a future in Arcia. There's a past in Kubel, Willingham and Doumit. Embrace the future.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, a strange move in light of the fact it appears the Twins are trying to move forward.