(Update 10 a.m.: While no official announcement has been made, the Indians have reportedly landed Kubel for a Player to be Named Later. The Diamondbacks will help pay for the bulk of the money owed to Kubel.)
It’s no secret that the Indians have struggled offensively over the last month-plus. It looks like, at the very last minute, the front office might be finding a way to address that issue.
According to reports, Cleveland is emerging as a “strong possibility” to land recently waived Arizona Diamondbacks slugger Jason Kubel. MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo first put out the rumor on Twitter about an hour ago, followed by confirmation from the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro. It’s possible such a deal could be a trade for parts from the Tribe.
Kubel, 31, landed out west with a two-year, $16 million deal in the winter of 2011. The lefty batter slugged a career-high 30 home runs last season, finishing the year with a .253/.327/.506 line in 141 games. It’s been an entirely different story in 2013: He’s batting just .220/.288/.324 in 89 games, including a 9-for-75 (.120) mark at the plate since July 3.
Most well known in the AL Central for his solid seven-year career with the Minnesota Twins, Kubel is another left-handed option for the Indians to perhaps try out. He’s certainly better than giving Matt Carson any high-leverage at-bats, as Terry Francona did for some reason on Wednesday night. If injured Ryan Raburn is out any longer, even Kubel in his recent slumping ways could be a net positive.
So stay tuned on Friday morning to see if the Indians and Diamondbacks can work out their second deal in 12 months — including the Shin-Soo Choo, Didi Gregorius, Trevor Bauer and Drew Stubbs trade with Cincinnati last winter. The key thing to look out for would be the possible return for Arizona, as Kubel isn’t worth much more on his contract this season.