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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. raindog's Avatar
      raindog -
      Quote Originally Posted by Marta Shearing View Post
      Disheartening. I thought the plan was to bring in veteran clubhouse guys to liven up the clubhouse and bring in a winning attitude. Kubel doesnt offer this. He pouted his way out of town a few years ago because it was too hard to hit HR's in TF, now he crawls into Ryan's office begging, and they take him back?
      Tell me this is satire or something.
    1. ScottyB's Avatar
      ScottyB -
      I guess we have to trade Willingham now so we can give Kubes #16 back.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Not sure who we can count on after 2013... Bringing Kubel back home is bringing in competition for positions and that is a great thing.

      Kubel can hit... We don't know if last year is Kubel this year. Bring in some 3B competition and Bring in some speed please while your at it.
    1. nick5253's Avatar
      nick5253 -
      Quote Originally Posted by amjgt View Post
      This isn't low risk..... it's NO risk
      The risk is with Gardy. You give him the option of starting a veteran over a rookie or 2nd year guy (Arcia) and he's going to take the veteran nearly every time. Give him a veteran he's familiar with, and Arcia has no chance.
    1. Alex's Avatar
      Alex -
      Nothing lost here on a minor league deal. If we open the season with Willingham, Arcia, Doumit, and Kubel all actually on the active roster, then I'll be more concerned with overall flexibility (lack thereof) on the roster.
    1. notoriousgod71's Avatar
      notoriousgod71 -
      Quote Originally Posted by amjgt View Post
      This isn't low risk..... it's NO risk
      Nothing is no risk. The risk is we trot him out there for 150 games and he has a season like he had last year.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      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
      It's a minor league deal, I think org depth is a more appropriate description than logjam, he's not going to block anyone.
    1. David Woodley's Avatar
      David Woodley -
      Quote Originally Posted by notoriousgod71 View Post
      Nothing is no risk. The risk is we trot him out there for 150 games and he has a season like he had last year.
      There is zero chance of that happening.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Does anybody know if he is being offered a ST invite? The Twins article didn't say.
    1. jm3319's Avatar
      jm3319 -
      Quote Originally Posted by notoriousgod71 View Post
      Nothing is no risk. The risk is we trot him out there for 150 games and he has a season like he had last year.
      The team has bigger problems if they allow the manager to trot him out there for 150 games if he has a season like last year. Just because you sign a guy to a deal (MINOR LEAGUE DEAL) doesn't mean he's automatically given the starting job for 150 games.

      This move creates depth and competition. If he earns playing time, great. If he sucks, he won't be playing anyway.
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      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
      It's not really 4 spots. It's more accurately 5-6 MLB spots (including backups) and another 5-6 spots at AAA. Plenty of room for all of these guys.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by nick5253 View Post
      The risk is with Gardy. You give him the option of starting a veteran over a rookie or 2nd year guy (Arcia) and he's going to take the veteran nearly every time. Give him a veteran he's familiar with, and Arcia has no chance.
      Gardy can give his input for the 25 man roster, but it's Ryan's decision to make. If there is a log jam with no clear cut top dogs come opening day, Kubel will be the odd man out. Kubel can be sent to Rochester, Parmelee, Colabello and Doumit cannot without losing them.

      Quote Originally Posted by notoriousgod71 View Post
      Nothing is no risk. The risk is we trot him out there for 150 games and he has a season like he had last year.
      Than the risk is the incompetent manager, not the player. No reason he has to play if he's terrible. Should we also be afraid that the Eric Fryer will play 150 games at catcher?
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      Radke next? I guess if you throw enough at the wall, something might stick.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      If this guy's name wasn't Jason Kubel, this thread would read very differently.

      1. People wouldn't be concerned about him stinking up the roster for 150 games.

      2. People wouldn't be overly optimistic about him getting back on track and OPSing at .800.

      3. People would see this as the kind of organizational depth move teams make every offseason.

      It's a decent move on a player that has a chance to rebound and be a role player. Nothing to get too excited about, nothing worth complaining about.
    1. twinsfan34's Avatar
      twinsfan34 -
      as amjgt said...no risk. Minor league deal. If he hits great. If he doesn't, no real loss.

      Nice to see players come back and have good things to say about the organization.
    1. Jham's Avatar
      Jham -
      Question: Is anything but pride keeping players from choking up or moving to a lighter bat as their bat slows? On a related note, if corking the bat to make the barrel lighter increases bat speed, what advantage is their to swinging a heavier and therefore slower bat?
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Well, I think there's risk there, and yes, I think that is an indictment against Gardenhire. I don't think it means he's incompetent - it just means he has some weaknesses, and this seems to play on one of them. He also has his strengths, and overall, I think the strengths dwarf the weaknesses.

      But this seems to play on a weakness, and I'd be happier if Kubel wasn't an option. I'm worried about Arcia and Parmelee's playing time. (And I recognize I might be the only one worried about Parmelee's playing time.)
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      Well, I think there's risk there, and yes, I think that is an indictment against Gardenhire. I don't think it means he's incompetent - it just means he has some weaknesses, and this seems to play on one of them. He also has his strengths, and overall, I think the strengths dwarf the weaknesses.

      But this seems to play on a weakness, and I'd be happier if Kubel wasn't an option. I'm worried about Arcia and Parmelee's playing time. (And I recognize I might be the only one worried about Parmelee's playing time.)
      Provide a couple of examples where a young player represented a clear-cut improvement and I might agree with such a generalization. Castro over Bartlett comes to mind, but I'm not even sure if that decision was such a clear-cut mistake, and would still question why you'd think a bias in favor of a veteran over a youngster would represent weakness.
    1. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
      Hosken Bombo Disco -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jham View Post
      Question: Is anything but pride keeping players from choking up or moving to a lighter bat as their bat slows? On a related note, if corking the bat to make the barrel lighter increases bat speed, what advantage is their to swinging a heavier and therefore slower bat?
      Parker's contact charts do look worrying. Brock's right though, if this was any other guy, this thread would read a little different for a guy just a year removed from a 30 homer season.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
      Provide a couple of examples where a young player represented a clear-cut improvement and I might agree with such a generalization. Castro over Bartlett comes to mind, but I'm not even sure if that decision was such a clear-cut mistake, and would still question why you'd think a bias in favor of a veteran over a youngster would represent weakness.
      I won't get into the examples but Castro over Bartlett was a ridiculously obvious mistake.
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