Jason Kubel played seven seasons with the Minnesota Twins, but an end of an era came over the weekend as the veteran slugger decided to sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks. It's unclear what Minnesota's front office was offering the South Dakota native, but it apparently wasn't enough.
Or, according to SB Nation's Rob Neyer, maybe the Diamondbacks offered Kubel too much.
The Diamondbacks are reportedly doing to pay Kubel $7.5 million per season in each of the next two seasons. He's been a major leaguer for five seasons, 2007-2011. According to FanGraphs, Kubel's been worth roughly $2.5 million per season. He'll be 30 next May. The Diamondbacks have a left fielder who's been worth roughly $8 million per season over the last two seasons, and who will be 25 next May.
Is Kubel capable of playing well enough to deserve $7.5 million? Sure. In 2009, Kubel played in 146 games, batted .300/.369/.539 and actually picked up a few points in the MVP balloting. His OPS+ that season was 136.
The problem is that Kubel's career OPS+ is 112, and if it's below 120 he's not helping you.Especially if you've got him playing in the outfield. In the National League, Kubel shouldn't be a left fielder, or even a first baseman. In the National League, Kubel should be a pinch-hitter. He should be the new Matt Stairs.
Regardless, the man that came up in the clutch more than once for the Twins while blasting 104 home runs in his Minnesota career has now moved on from the friendly confines of the Twin Cities.