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Twins Keeping Kubel, (Possibly) Getting Rid Of Punto

Kelly Thesier of reports that the Twins have picked up the option on Jason Kubel for 2011, and have declined the option on Nick Punto.

Kubel's salary in 2011 will be $5.25 million... The Twins chose not to exercise Punto's $5 million option for the 2011 season. Punto, who will receive a $500,000 buyout, will become a free agent.

Some fans were disappointed in Kubel's production in 2010, especially as he went hitless in the playoffs, and some had suggested the team might want to think about declining that option. As for Punto, virtually no one with any sense suggested the Twins should pick up his option, which was a ridiculous $5 million for 2011. Given Punto's history with the team - and his likely lack of popularity on the free agent market - it still remains possible that he could be back with the Twins next year, albeit for a vastly reduced price.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.