The recent signing of Cody Ross gives the Arizona Diamondbacks a bevy of outfield options but limited amounts of available playing time. Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers might look to deal an outfielder, and CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that Jason Kubel is the most likely player to be on the chopping block.
Kubel is coming off a season in which hit .253/.327/.506 and popped 30 home runs, bouncing back from an injury-marred 2011 campaign. Though Kubel is a steady lineup force who has averaged .268/.334/.467 over an eight-year major-league career, he has a significant platoon split, as he strongly favours matchups against right-handed pitchers.
Teams looking to acquire the 30-year-old's services should not be expecting him to make a positive impact with his glove, either. Last year, Kubel was worth -14.1 FRAA, and for his career, he has been worth -17.1 FRAA afield. Thus, Kubel might fit better with an American League team that can stash Kubel in a regular rotation at designated hitter.
Buster Olney of ESPN lists several teams that could be a fit for the veteran outfielder, including the Rays, White Sox, Phillies, and Orioles, among others. While most of the teams listed are pure speculation, Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reports that the White Sox have had talks about acquiring Kubel.
Kubel inked a two-year, $16 million pact with Arizona prior to the 2012 season, and his contract includes a team option for 2014. The lefty slugger will make $7.5 million next season, so the D'Backs may have to eat some of his salary if he is dealt.
If Arizona decides to venture into trade talks on Justin Upton yet again and finds a deal they like, the club could always choose to platoon new acquisition Cody Ross with Kubel instead of trading him.