DETROIT: Jason Kubel #16 of the Minnesota Twins singles to right field in the first inning scoring Trevor Plouffe #24 during the game gainst the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
The Arizona Diamondbacks reached a two-year/$15 million deal with Jason Kubel, and they either pushed a 24-year-old Gold Glover to the bench, or they just signed the most expensive fourth-outfielder in the game.
The Gold Gloves are sort of an inside joke, but it's still a little surprising that the Diamondbacks didn't sweep the outfield awards in the National League. Justin Upton is ahead of his peers in right field, and Chris Young is at least in the discussion of best defensive center fielders in the NL.
The one Diamondback who did win the Gold Glove, though, was Gerardo Parra, who was easily the best NL left fielder in the field. The 24-year-old complemented that with a .357 on-base percentage and 15 steals in 16 attempts. It was a pretty nice season. It's too bad he's going to have to scour Craigslist for a new job! The Arizona Diamondbacks signed former Twins outfielder Jason Kubel to a two-year, $15 million deal.
Kubel will play left for the Diamondbacks, apparently. Players who are paid $7.5 million a year usually aren't signed to be benchies. Kubel's best defensive position is DH, though he can actually post a negative UZR there when he sets his mind to it.
The downgrade in defense is obvious, but Parra had a .357 OBP last year to Kubel's .332. And Parra is 24 and cheap, whereas Kubel is 30 and the proud owner of a new $15 million contract.
Though right now it appears that Parra is some sort of fourth outfielder type, this has to mean that a trade is imminent. Upton obviously isn't going anywhere, but Parra could either be traded or moved to center if Young is traded. And the trade has to be almost final. It's not like the Diamondbacks would sign Kubel, destroy their leverage, and then look to make a big trade with one of their young outfielders.
That has to be it. Because otherwise, the DIamondbacks just spent $15 million to get worse in the field and at the plate. Oh, and Kubel has had injury problems throughout his career. That shouldn't be a problem, though, because the Diamondbacks have a pretty swell fourth outfielder!
There are bizarre moves, and there there are moves like this. If the Diamondbacks don't make a substantial trade with one of their spare outfielders before spring, this will be the most confusing move of the offseason. It's like someone in the front office sent a text that was ravaged by autocorrect, like "Sign Jason Karitiev for $750K" became "Jason Kubel for $7.5M."
Nah. There has to be a trade coming. Has to be. Right?