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Indians acquire Jason Kubel from Diamondbacks

Hoping to find an offensive solution, Tribe trades for lefty slugger

Indians acquire Jason Kubel from Diamondbacks
August 30, 2013
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Three short weeks after Mark Reynolds was designated for assignment, Cleveland has found themselves another power bat.

This time from the left side.

The Indians announced Friday the team has acquired outfielder Jason Kubel and cash in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks for a minor league pitcher to be named later. The Diamondbacks are picking almost all of Kubel's remaining salary for 2013 and also the $1 million buyout for 2014. In exchange the Indians will send a minor league pitcher that is said to be a fringe prospect. To make room on the 40-man roster, left-handed pitcher Scott Barnes was recalled from Triple-A Columbus and added to the 60-day disabled list (left wrist sprain).

Kubel, 31, has struggled for the better part of this season with the DBacks, hitting .220 with five homers and 32 RBI in 89 games. It was just last year the left-handed slugger belted a career-high 30 homers and drove in 90 runs in his first year with Arizona.

Hoping to find a potential solution to their offensive woes, Kubel averaged 24 home runs a year between 2008-2012. Making $7.5 million in 2013, the left-handed hitter is in the final year of a two-year, $16 million contract he signed before the 2012 season. The contract also includes a $7.5 million mutual option for 2014.

A career .265 hitter, Kubel is no stranger to the American League Central, having played the better part of seven years with the Minnesota Twins from 2004-2011.

Cleveland claimed Kubel off waivers from the Twins along with Jim Thome back in 2011, but the team chose to instead strike a deal for the longtime fan favorite.

Kubel comes to the Tribe admist a tough stretch of baseball as the team enters a critical three-game series with division rival Detroit Tigers. With utility man Ryan Raburn sidelined on the 15-day DL with a strained left Achillies, Kubel can fill the void filling in as a designated hitter or playing one of the corner outfield spots.

He is expected to join the team in Motown on Saturday, and will wear No. 12.

Offensively, the Indians rank last in the American League in average (.227), on-base percentage (.295) and slugging percentage (.354) in the month of August. The team has scored just 85 runs over their last 26 games.

Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at

User Comments

August 30, 2013 - 5:08 PM EDT
That wouldn't make much sense on Martinez. He is a minor league free agent in a few days.
Bob L
August 30, 2013 - 4:46 PM EDT
Getting the idea that it might be Joe Martinez named in that trade for Kubel
August 30, 2013 - 2:58 PM EDT
Larry says...' one has to admire the Arizona GM....'

Not here in Phoenix. Kevin Towers is appropriately getting blamed for a lousy season. This guy built his rep on being a bull pen savant - and the D'backs have the worst of the worst - most blown saves.

This bull$#@! of a bull pen has; DFA'd the 'pivotial' inclusion of Tony Sipp in the Bauer deal - Towers situational lefty extrodinare.

Is paying Heath Bell NINE MILLION to be JJ Putz's 'insurance' as closer - a role he blew spectacularly.

The Sipp mistake directly led to trading a struggling Ian Kennedy to his old club for another situational lefty - Towers version of a trading deadline deal to bolster the teams fading race for the final wildcard spot.


Kevin Towers is a twit - and Arizona has gone from contender club to a mess up and down the field because of him.

AS for Kubal. His struggles date to July last year and as a result he has be one of several scapegoats. (Much as Towers and crew did with Bauer last year)

Who knows. If he can string together a few games it's worth a marginal farm arm.
August 30, 2013 - 2:31 PM EDT
Adams is not a high end prospect, but he is a "prospect" because he can throw upper 90s and has a good breaking ball. The answer to the previous question was that he is not a "non-prospect".
Bob L
August 30, 2013 - 2:22 PM EDT
Adams has had shoulder surgery and is 27 years old. Tony are you saying he is a Prospect because he can bring it around 100 mph. Is that the measurement of a prospect. I always thought you used age as a key ingredient???
August 30, 2013 - 2:01 PM EDT
No chance on Adams. If so, then that's a big knock on him as a prospect to be considered a "non-prospect" according to people with knowledge of the deal.
August 30, 2013 - 1:55 PM EDT
Is there any chance the prospect to be named could be Austin Adams?
August 30, 2013 - 1:36 PM EDT
Price could possibly be in that mix as a fringe pen arm, though I would put him a little above that. Wouldnt be surprised if it is him though. As for Shoppach, there is that third catcher they are calling up on Sunday that they were hinting about yesterday.
MT88 in WI
August 30, 2013 - 1:09 PM EDT
I see the Tribe signed Shoppach to minor league deal. I guess he gets a call up to be another Catcher on the bench when rosters expand....
MT88 in WI
August 30, 2013 - 1:04 PM EDT
Would Bryan Price be consider a fringe prospect at this point or less (due to Rule 5 eligibility)?
August 30, 2013 - 11:45 AM EDT
I'm just guessing, but I'm thinking someone like Flores, Sides, Cook, etc.
August 30, 2013 - 11:41 AM EDT
Any Rumors on the "fringe prospect" as MLB trade rumors says? It is supposedly a minor league relief pitcher
August 30, 2013 - 11:17 AM EDT
The Kubel signing is not going to make a difference. It reminds me of buying day old bread, the price is nice, but you can't make a good sandwich out of it. I don''t think they need another over the hill left-handed hitter who strikes out alot and is having a bad year. They don't need him now because they are not going anywhere this year, if they can finish second ahead of the Royals, they'll surpass my expectations and Kubel is not somebody you look to build on in the future, in my opinion. I would rather see them bump somebody up from the minors that is a legitimate prospect and see what they can do at this level. That would be Carlos Moncrief. They really don't have anybody else. The guy w the bad back- Cooper is hitting under .200 and so is Trevor Crowe, I mean Tyler Naquin. Does anybody have the composite W/L record for the Indians minor league teams? I can't remember when the last time was they had such a poor winning % as a group.
August 30, 2013 - 10:53 AM EDT
The Diamondbacks are paying almost all of Kubel's remaining salary AND his $1M buyout for next season.
August 30, 2013 - 10:48 AM EDT
One has to admire the Arizona GM. First he dumps Bauer on the Tribe and aquires a shortstop, then he gets them to take Kubel and his million dollar buyout. Wouldn't it be great if Cleveland aquired a player that could actually hit.
August 30, 2013 - 10:43 AM EDT
I still don't get the "Gomes was the only catcher on the roster" excuse a lot of people keep mentioning. I think many forget that he can pinch hit and stay in the game (he was PHing for the pitcher). He assumes 9th spot on order and becomes catcher, Santana moves to 1B, Swisher to RF and then the pitcher who comes in replaces Stubbs and becomes 8th man in order. And Indians still have two catchers to use.
Joe Chengery
August 30, 2013 - 10:37 AM EDT
I think as someone mentioned, I think Francona was just hoping to find lightning in a bottle with the Carson PH opportunity, and probably didn't want to use Gomes in that spot, being he is the only other catcher on the roster. Still, Gomes probably has a better chance, being he's been in the Majors for "a while" now.
August 30, 2013 - 10:15 AM EDT
Yes, the Carson move makes sense now. They just wanted a guy up for 1-2 games until they made this move. Sounds like they knew they were getting something so placed Raburn on DL and added Carson for short term and could then just DFA him and not worry about losing him for next year. Though, it still does not explain Francona's decision to PH him the other night.....ugh.
Rich Smith
August 30, 2013 - 9:55 AM EDT
Looks like the Matt Carson era has come to an end after a few days. It was good timing to bring in Kubel with Raburn being on DL and rosters expanding in two days.

Even on a very down year, he is a much better option offensively than anyone the Indians had in the high minors.

I, too, Joe, would have like Kubel to arrive at the beginning of the Atlanta series. But I would have like to have met my wife a few years earlier, also. But we can't control many things, and as Tony pointed out, Kubel wasn't DFA'd until Wednesday.

I think Kubel will make a good platoon with Stubbs in outfield and you can rotate Swish, Santana, Gomes, & Giambi between DH, 1st and catcher slots. When Raburn returns, I wouldn't mind seeing Stubbs occasionaly play with Raburn in outfield against lefties by spelling Bourn and Brantley.

If Kubel returns to form this month being in familiar American League Central, then it might be worth considering bringing him back next year to fill the Giambi spot on roster.
August 30, 2013 - 9:39 AM EDT
They couldn't trade for him as he was not on waivers. He was just DFAed on Wednesday afternoon and the Indians worked out a deal to trade for him.
Joe Case
August 30, 2013 - 9:24 AM EDT
We waited too late to trade for Kubel. He maybe could have made a difference in those three close losses against the Braves.

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