MLB Trade Deadline: Kubel for Nathan a possibility?by Fabian Ardaya on Jul. 28, 2013, under Arizona Diamondbacks
As the trade deadline nears, TC Arizona Sports is looking at deals that could help the Diamondbacks as they look to make their push to the playoffs. Every day up until the 31st, we will bring you a deal that could help the team contend for the NL West title. First up, the D-Backs get a closer while the Rangers get a possible replacement for Nelson Cruz.
THE TRADE: Arizona Diamondbacks trade OF Jason Kubel to the Texas Rangers for RHP Joe Nathan
This deal really makes sense for both sides, especially in Arizona’s desperate search for a closer. Arizona has already trotted out the following players, with the following results:
- J.J. Putz (24 G, 3.10 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 22 Ks, 13 BB, 5 SV, 3 HLD, 5 BLSV)
-David Hernandez (45 G, 5.09 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 47 Ks, 17 BB, 2 SV, 12 HLD, 5 BLSV)
- #TheHeathBellExperience (44 G, 3.98 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 45 Ks, 11 BB, 15 SV, 6 HLD, 5 BLSV)
- Brad Ziegler (53 G, 2.28 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 25 Ks, 13 BB, 5 SV, 11 HLD, 0 BLSV)
While Ziegler has had success as the de-facto closer as of late, it is questionable that he can maintain this rate for the rest of the year. Despite having a career 2.98 ERA, he only has 25 career saves as opposed to 12 blown saves, and does not have the typical closer “stuff”. Putz was rocky until an elbow injury cost him almost two months, and has yet to perform at a level at which Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson could comfortably put him back in the closer’s role. David Hernandez, once considered the closer of the future, has been one of the team’s biggest disappointments with a 5.09 ERA (compared to 2.50 last season).
Then there’s #TheHeathBellExperience. For the price of around $13.5 million, D-Backs fans get to see the most unpredictable show in all of baseball. He has given up a whopping eight home runs already this season, and is still just a shell of who he was in his heyday in San Diego.
In comparison, there’s the Ranger’s Joe Nathan, who is being shopped by Texas, via Ken Rosenthal.
Joe Nathan is being shopped by the Rangers for an established hitter, other teams say. More than just internal talks.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 28, 2013
Nathan certainly has put up solid numbers in his second full season in Texas:
44 G, 1.73 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 44 Ks, 11 BB, 32 SV, 0 HLD, 2 BLSV
Nathan’s numbers are already way better than any of those on the D-Backs, which makes the deal an immediate bullpen upgrade.
Kubel definitely fits in with Texas, who is looking for a potential outfielder who can replace Nelson Cruz in the aftermath of the Biogenesis suspensions that are expected to be announced next week. While Kubel may not be as good of a hitter as Cruz, he and Alex Rios may be the top two outfield bats remaining on the trade market following the Alfonso Soriano trade. He would be a definite upgrade for the Rangers, which shows when looking at the statistics of all Rangers outfielders NOT named Nelson Cruz:
Jason Kubel (ARI): 70 G, 205 AB, 8 2B, 5 HR, 27 RBI, .234 AVG, .314 OBP, .356 SLG, .668 OPS
Jeff Baker (TEX): 41 G, 92 AB, 5 2B, 9 HR, 16 RBI, .326 AVG, .392 OBP, .674 SLG, 1.066 OPS
Engel Beltre (TEX): 12 G, 29 AB, 1 2B, 0 HR, 2 RBI, .310 AVG, .310 OBP, .345 SLG, .655 OPS
Craig Gentry (TEX): 55 G, 126 AB, 7 2B, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 9 SB, .230 AVG, .324 OBP, .341 SLG, .665 OPS
Leonys Martin (TEX): 90 G, 253 AB, 9 2B, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 20 SB, .281 AVG, .331 OBP, .415 SLG, .746 OPS
David Murphy (TEX): 98 G, 332 AB, 16 2B, 11 HR, 33 RBI, .226 AVG, .281 OBP, .380 SLG, .661 OPS
While Kubel may not have the best statistics, he has had enough at-bats to fill in comfortably in an everyday role, and should benefit from a return to the American League. On Texas, he could slot in as an everyday outfielder or DH, depending on what Ron Washington wants to do with Craig Gentry.
Got any trade ideas? Have any thoughts on this trade? Comment below and check us out as we bring more scenarios throughout the week.