Friday, July 29, 2011

WB2PB Trade Deadline Evaluation: Jason Kubel

Over the next nine days, we will take a look at one player who is in the rumor mill to join the Pirates leading up to the trade deadline. Today's installment is Minnesota Twins outfielder Jason Kubel
The batting order with the addition of Kubel: 
1. Presley/Tabata/Paul, LF;  2.. Walker, 2B;  4. McCutchen, CF;  4. Kubel, RF; 5. Alvarez, 3B; 6. Doumit, C; 7. Jones/Pearce, 1B; 8. Cedeno, SS; 9. pitcher.

  • Kubel has 4 20+ HR seasons in his career, although his power numbers are a little down this season. He missed nearly two months with a sprained foot which certainly explains his down offensive numbers. His bat this season would be a welcome addition as he is hitting over .300 for the Twins in 227 at-bats.
  • Kubel comes from a team with success, as the Twins have reached the postseason the last two years. Kubel struggled in the playoffs (2-for-29 in his career) but was a starter on back-to-back division title winners.
  • Kubel is an OK outfielder but does not have great range and weakens the defense. He would start in RF so the trickly PNC Park left field would not be an issue but the team defense would be reduced with Kubel playing every day.

The Twins are a perfect fit to trade with the Pirates at this point, as they have both an outfielder to trade and a extra pitcher they have little room for in Kevin Slowey. Reports are the Pirates would like to add an extra arm to take a little pressure off their starting pitcher, which has carried this team to where it is in the standings and may start to feel the effects of that as the season goes on. Minnesota is also in discussions to acquire Washington closer Drew Storen and would have to give up young centerfielder Denard Span, which may take Kubel off the market.

The Twins sit six games out of first place in the AL central but they are also in fourth place. The team is still deciding whether it's a buyer or a seller and may try to be both. Kubel has less that $2 million remaining on his 2011 contract and is a free agent after the season. So the rental shouldn't cost the Pirates much, although the team would receive a compensation draft pick if he did so the Pirates would likely have to give up a low-to-mid tier prospect to acquire him.

Just the type of bat could use to get hot for a few months and begin to solve their severe offensive issues.

Likely chance of acquisition:35 percent

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