Fire Gardy

Mismanaging games since 2002

Jason Kubel

The Twins signed Jason Kubel to a two year deal, with a team option for a third year.  Some peoplequestion this move, since he is already under team control for the next two years.  It really only gives the team cost certainty.  I think its a team friendly deal, mainly because of the option.  It can’t hurt to have a useful bat locked it for two to three years.  One of the reasons this move does look questionable is because of the outfield/DH logjam.  Kubel had to fight for at bats last year, now Michael Cuddyer is added to the mix and he will have to fight even harder.  It appears that no washed up free agent will steal his ABs, but perhaps a nearly washed up never-was will.  Ideally Gardy rotates Young-Span-Gomez-Cuddyer through the 3 OF spots, and lets Kubel be as the primary DH.  Possibly using Cuddyer against especially tough lefties.  Depth never hurt anyone. 

The dollar amount for Kubel’s deal doesn’t bother me, we either pay him 7 mil for 2 years, or 12 mil for 3 years, I think.  Not bad, especially if he has a killer first two years.  Will this new deal force Gardy to give Kubel more at bats?  Will the return of Cuddyer take at bats away? If we are facing a right handed pitcher, there is no question Kubel should be the DH.  Should be interesting to see how this plays out.  I highly doubt any of the five players mentioned above are moved before the start of the season, so Gardy better figure something out.

4 comments

4 Comments so far

  1. sirsean January 28th, 2009 10:47 am

    In the linked article, Cameron claims that the Twins would have been better off releasing Kubel, signing Hinske, and then signing some bargain basement guy next year and every year.

    First of all, in what universe do teams release pre-FA players who are the third best hitter on the team?

    Secondly, in what sense is Hinske equally valuable as Kubel? Cameron claims that Hinske is “worth 2-3 runs more offensively” over the course of the season, and has value as a 1B/OF. I don’t know how he came to the offensive conclusion, given that Hinske hasn’t been as good as Kubel at the plate for three years, and Kubel is entering his prime while Hinske is leaving it.

    And also, we have Morneau and a whole shitloud of outfielders, so who cares if Hinske can play a crappy 1B/OF?

  2. Joel January 28th, 2009 11:53 am

    The Twins have been critisized for letting David Ortiz go – look at what he’s done for Boston.

    Here are stats for two players in their last 4 years with the Twins. Which is Kubel and which is Ortiz? Age 26 26 G 354 365 AB 1150 1161 R 158 156 H 300 311 2B 85 63 3B 3 7 HR 48 43 RBI 186 176 SB 3 8 CS 2 2 BB 145 106 SO 248 224 BA .261 .268 OBP .344 .329 SLG * .465 .445 TB 535 517 SH 1 3 SF 16 14 IBB 10 4 HBP 4 1 GDP 26 34

    Hint: Kubel might be a little faster, gimpy knees and all, but being lower in the batting order the IBB’s don’t come as often and double plays come a little more often.

  3. FunBobby January 28th, 2009 11:57 am

    Thanks for putting that together. I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but just looking at it I can’t tell who is who. Granted I don’t expect Kubel to put up 2004 Ortiz numbers next year, but I think if the twins start letting him hit like he can, i.e. swing away and try to hit the ball a mile, he can really produce and help this team win games.

  4. sirsean January 28th, 2009 2:21 pm

    I think player A is DOrtiz and player B is my friend Jason Kubel. I couldn’t tell down to the walks, and I figured DOrtiz drew more walks. Though 39 walks in four seasons is not a large difference.

    Just let Kubel loose. Tell him to smash the ball. Exactly like the Red Sox said to DOrtiz when he got there.

    Free Jason Kubel, as it were.

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