With Adam Eaton returning, where does Kubel fit in?by Fabian Ardaya on Jul. 08, 2013, under Arizona Diamondbacks
In Monday night’s 6-1 loss against the Los Angeles Dodgers (43-45), Arizona Diamondbacks (47-42) outfielder Jason Kubel went 0-2 with a walk, dropping his batting average to .256 for the season. He had issues defensively that led to long innings, and really did not look like himself at the plate. Kubel was playing his 59th game this season for the Snakes. How many are left?
With Adam Eaton set to finally return from injury (elbow), the Diamondbacks should see a serious logjam in the outfield. Gerardo Parra, A.J. Pollock, Cody Ross, Eaton, and Kubel will all be campaigning to get at-bats, and someone has to go. With a contract set to expire at the end of the season (despite a team option after the season), Kubel seems like the one most likely to go.
Despite being a solid player at the plate in his time in Arizona, it seems as if his glove can be a liability, and that he doesn’t fit in with the skill set of the rest of the roster. When looking at the stats, it can be seen through the statistics that he is really an average player:
KUBEL: 58 G, 174 AB, 4 HR, 25 RBIs, .259 AVG, .337 OBP, 55 SO, 0.5 WAR, .353 BABIP, .115 ISO, -2 RTOT
POLLOCK: 76 G, 257 AB, 6 HR, 24 RBIs, .257 AVG, .294 OBP, 1.7 WAR, 52 SO, .300 BABIP, .167 ISO, -1 RTOT
PARRA: 85 G, 344 AB, 7 HR, 27 RBIs, .299 AVG, .358 OBP, 3.6 WAR, 61 SO, .344 BABIP, .148 ISO, 2 RTOT
ROSS: 70 G, 242 AB, 5 HR, 25 RBIs, .264 AVG, .323 OBP, 1.1 WAR, 40 SO, .294 BABIP, .116 ISO, 12 RTOT
(via Baseball Reference and FanGraphs)
Key: G= games played, AB= at-bats, HR= home runs, RBI= runs batted in, AVG= batting average, OBP= on-base percentage, SO= strikeouts, WAR= wins above replacement, BABIP= batting average on balls in play, ISO= isolated power, RTOT=total fielding runs above average
While Kubel may have regressed and probably won’t see the playing time he deserves in Arizona, Kubel could still be a key piece for a contender and trade bait come deadline time. Here are a couple options:
Arizona Diamondbacks trade OF Jason Kubel in package for New York Yankees RHP Ivan Nova or LHP Manny Banuelos
Arizona Diamondbacks trade OF Jason Kubel in package for Pittsburgh Pirates RHP Jameson Taillon
Arizona Diamondbacks trade OF Jason Kubel in package for Texas Rangers 3B Mike Olt
Arizona Diamondbacks trade OF Jason Kubel in package for Boston Red Sox RHP Daniel Bard
Arizona Diamondbacks trade OF Jason Kubel in package for Cleveland Indians RHP Justin Masterson or Ubaldo Jimenez
Arizona Diamondbacks trade OF Jason Kubel in package for Baltimore Orioles RHP Jair Jurrjens and RHP Jason Hammel
It is highly unlikely that the Diamondbacks trade Kubel to a team that is not a contender, so Kubel probably won’t warrant a return of a Jeff Samardzija or a Yovani Gallardo. But for teams looking to stay in it (or who keep telling themselves that), there are some packages in which Kubel could work.
The Yankees need SOMEBODY other than Robinson Cano who can swing the bat, especially in the outfield. Kubel could give them a big, consistent bat and experience in the American League, while Nova (3-2, 4.09 ERA) could by the right handed arm the Diamonbacks rotation desperately needs. As far as the Pirates, Kubel could spell a struggling Travis Snider, although they may be unwilling to move the prospect they have in Taillon.
Most amusing trade package for Stanton I’ve seen proposed in an internet comment section today: David Phelps and Ivan Nova.
— Ben Lindbergh (@ben_lindbergh) January 2, 2013
The Diamonbacks have prized Olt for so long, and even tried to trade for him by wagging Justin Upton in the Rangers’ faces. Kubel could give the Rangers another outfield bat that they need, and Olt could be a prospect for the future (especially with AAA 3B Matt Davidson likely being traded at the deadline). Bard has long been out of favor in Boston, and could serve as back of the bullpen help while giving the Red Sox a consistent bat. If the Tribe start to slip, they could move Masterson, who has been above average for the last couple of seasons and could bring consistency to the rotation. They could also take a flier on Jimenez, hoping that he returns to anything near the form he had back when he was with the Rockies. The trade would also allow Kubel to return to the AL Central. It’s a similar bet on Jurrjens, who has lost his way in the last year. Hammel is a solid pitcher who could fit easily in the rotation.
The Orioles have reinstated 2B Brian Roberts from the 60-day DL and designated RHP Jair Jurrjens for assignment off of the 25-man roster.
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) June 30, 2013
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) January 23, 2013
No matter what, something has to give, and odds are somebody’s going to get moved, and quickly.