The Minnesota Twins have reunited with free-agent outfielder Jason Kubel, signing the veteran to a minor-league pact, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The deal includes an invite to big-league camp next spring, per Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com.
Kubel, 31, was drafted by the Twins back in 2000 and was a mainstay in the outfield corners for the club for parts of six seasons. The lefty slugger left Minnesota on a two-year, $16 million deal with the Diamondbacks after the 2011 season and played well for Arizona in his first year there, but then fell off the proverbial cliff in 2013.
After whopping a career-high 30 home runs for the D'Backs in 2012, Kubel's power stroke promptly disappeared. He hit an anemic .220/.288/.324 with just five home runs in 89 games for Arizona in 2013, forcing the club to trade him to the Indians for a player to be named later at the end of August. Kubel somehow fared even worse in his brief time in Cleveland and thus has had to settle for a parachute deal with his former club.
It's unclear if his rapid decline is the result of age, injury or just some fluke occurrance, but the Twins are obviously hoping it's the latter. Kubel has always been something of a liability on defense, but he hit a solid .271/.335/.459 in over 2,800 plate appearances in his first go with Minnesota, so if he can come anywhere close to those numbers the second time around the Twins are liable to be happy to have him.
With the addition of Kubel, the Twins' 40-man roster is now full.
- MLB reclamation deal roundup: Joba Chamberlain, Daniel Hudson, Roberto Hernandez
- Rockies sign LHP Boone Logan to 3-year, $16.5 million deal
- Angels, Diamondbacks interested in Garza
- Winter Meetings summary NL: Remaining needs and potential solutions
- Winter Meetings summary AL: Remaining needs and potential solutions