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  • Twins Sign Jason Kubel to a Minor League Deal

    Consider it phase two of Terry Ryan’s sinister plan, Getting The Band Back Together: According to 1500ESPN.com’s Darren Wolfson, the Twins have inked Jason Kubel to a minor league deal.

    In November Pioneer Press's Mike Berardino wrote that outfielder Jason Kubel, who was released by the Cleveland Indians earlier in the day, would be interested in a reunion with the Minnesota Twins.

    "Yeah, for sure,” Kubel said. “I loved it here. I really miss the guys. I had a great relationship with Gardy, Andy (pitching coach Rick Anderson), (Joe) Vavra — all the coaches and the few players I remember that are still there. I love the guys over there.”

    Kubel certainly loved the guys, but he had a different feeling towards the ballpark. When he departed to Arizona as a free agent, he reminisced about Target Field:

    "It's no secret that a lot of people didn't like Target Field to hit there," he said. "I just feel like here, I can use the whole field and still put up power numbers instead of trying to pull the ball in the air to get it out. I did get in trouble trying to do that too often, and it showed in the numbers."

    But he cannot blame Target Field for his 2013 woes.

    In his first year in Phoenix, Kubel thrived. He posted the second-best OPS of his career. He mashed 30 taters. He justified the first-half of his two-year, $15 million dollar contract.

    And then? Pfft. Nothing.

    What happened?

    One of Kubel's biggest issues in 2013 was his inability to handle fastballs. According to ESPN Stats & Info, in 2012 Kubel hit .298/.368/.616 with 20 home runs and a whopping .309 well-hit average. That dropped considerably in 2013 when he finished the year hitting .261/.315/.400 with just 3 home runs and a well-hit average of .171 off of fastballs.


    (2012)


    (2013)

    Opponents attacked the upper portion of the zone more in 2013 (37% versus 30% in 2012) and Kubel’s lack of bat speed resulted in far less contact and power output.

    While Kubel may be a bounce back candidate after his 2013 season, the Twins are not in need of a corner outfielder or designated hitter at this point. Oswaldo Arcia, in theory, can provide just as much production as the former Twin can. Nevertheless, the minor league agreement provides the Twins will some needed veteran depth without clogging the major league roster with additional corner outfielders and designated hitters.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Sign Jason Kubel to a Minor League Deal started by Parker Hageman
    Comments 92 Comments
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Um a big Jason fan , but huh? Isint this team filled with slow footed Dh types?
      I understand we want to replace some of Justins power from the left side, but where does he play , other then in Rochester? He is better then Willingham and Doumit in the outfield, But we are building a heck of a log jam, Colabello,Parmelee,Doumit,Arcia,Willingham and now Kubel.
      Well I guess the Wizard has a plan that will be reveiled in time ...Go Twins
      Hope you rake Jason
    1. Parker Hageman's Avatar
      Parker Hageman -
      You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.ph...or-League-Deal
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      Platoon in RF with Plouffe and Kubel would be extremely effective. Doubt they do it, but I don't really consider Parmelee a real option going forward. If he gets off to a slow start he might be buried on the depth chart.
    1. Sssuperdave's Avatar
      Sssuperdave -
      I like this signing a lot. He probably doesn't improve the big league club as it stands now but if he's willing to accept starting in Rochester (and I assume he is since it's a minor league deal) he'll be a decent replacement if injuries happen. And who knows, he could return to 2012 form.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      Happy for this signing. Speaks volumes on how the organization feels about Parmelee.
    1. mikeee's Avatar
      mikeee -
      Very cool! I hope he makes a good comeback!
    1. Gernzy's Avatar
      Gernzy -
      Yay Kubel is back! I always liked him. Hopefully he can help out the team.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      It seems a lot of the optimism here is due to the re-siging of a glory years Twins.

      But take away the familiarity factor, this might get even more positive attention. If Kubel had put up the same modest (with a few years of excellence) production with a club not named the Twins, we would probably be pretty damn excited about getting this guy on a minor league deal. He's one year removed from six straight seasons of 105+ OPS+. If his name was Joe Blow who played his whole career with the Marlins I think we'd be stoked.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      This is a great low-risk, high-reward deal. He will have to make some adjustments and not be such a dead pull hitter. But he can do it. If it means Arcia gets a bit more time to develop in AAA, all the better. Arcia has a lot of holes in his game and is still quite young. Also, I expect Doumit to get a lot more catching time in 2014 unless they sign Buck. That would free up Kubel for DH time. I much prefer Kubel to Parmelee, who has never been able to hit high cheese.
    1. ND-Fan's Avatar
      ND-Fan -
      The Twins maybe are looking to trade Doumit before season starts. It also give them depth at triple a for coming year.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Love this. I'll love it even more if this kicks Doumit out of town.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      He is only one-year removed from a decent year in Arizona, where he did play the field.

      The Twins need a DH. Doumit should be primarily the back-up reserve catcher.

      If Kubel produces, he can also make Willingham and Doumit expendable as spring training winds down.

      Let's bring the band back together. Sign Garza. Bring back Guerrier. Maybe Baker and Santana will take minor league contracts, too.
    1. twinsfanstl's Avatar
      twinsfanstl -
      Willingham, Parmelee and a B prospect to Brewers for Gallardo
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      The MLBTR headline on this scared me, but finding out it's just a minor league contract lowered my blood pressure. It won't be any surprise if we look back in a couple of years and see that Kubel was one of those guys who hit his permanent decline right after age 30. As a low risk move, I can't fault it. But I'm not sure it really helps with the clutter of similar players - even if some of the clutter is traded, when he's added to the 40-man it's more of the same. Hope it works out for all concerned.
    1. orangevening's Avatar
      orangevening -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsfanstl View Post
      Willingham, Parmelee and a B prospect to Brewers for Gallardo

      No way Milwaukee does that......
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Not much to complain about on any minor league deal.

      Curious if Kubel thinks he's cooked like Jacque Jones, or if the Twins think their corner OF/DH options might not pan out...
    1. PSzalapski's Avatar
      PSzalapski -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      Um a big Jason fan , but huh? Isint this team filled with slow footed Dh types? I understand we want to replace some of Justins power from the left side, but where does he play , other then in Rochester? He is better then Willingham and Doumit in the outfield, But we are building a heck of a log jam,
      I see no logjam--you can't count on anything from Parmelee, and it seems we will need Doumit at catcher. Great move to give the Twins one more option without any risk whatsoever.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by PSzalapski View Post
      I see no logjam--you can't count on anything from Parmelee, and it seems we will need Doumit at catcher. Great move to give the Twins one more option without any risk whatsoever.
      Willingham,Arcia,Colabello,Parmelee,Doumit,Kubel,M astroianni, Hicks,and Presley
      thats 9 Players for 4 spots and thats not counting Mitchel and Rameriez....It is a good move,low risk High reward,but where is he going to play? Like I said I hope that Terry has a plan to move some of the rest of these guys
    1. amjgt's Avatar
      amjgt -
      This isn't low risk..... it's NO risk
    1. David Woodley's Avatar
      David Woodley -
      Kubel and Hart put up nearly identical lines in 2012 30 HR, .830-8.40 OPS 151 k's etc.
      Both had miserable 2013's for different reasons and are only a year a part age wise.

      I am guessing that if we signed Hart to a minor league deal (or any one year deal) people would be jumping for joy.

      Giving Kubel a minor league contract is an absolute no brainer that has zero risk. If he can find his 2011/2012 form he becomes a legitimate contributor to this team, and adds much needed depth.
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