Jason Kubel: Why Trade Would Be Risky for Baltimore Orioles

James MorisetteCorrespondent IIIJanuary 23, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 31:  Jason Kubel #13 of the Arizona Diamondbacks  watches his solo home run in the 11th inning to give the Diamondbacks the lead against the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 31, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Recently, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported the Arizona Diamondbacks have engaged with the Baltimore Orioles about a possible trade for outfielder Jason Kubel.

While details regarding what Baltimore would ship to Arizona in return have not come to light, Orioles Nation's reaction to this potential move is mixed.

Fans advocating this trade say Kubel, 30, would provide the solid middle-of-the-order pop the Orioles need to compete in the AL East in 2013.

A left-handed hitter, Kubel enjoyed a nice MLB campaign in 2012. In 141 games, Kubel batted .253 with 30 home runs and 90 RBI. His OBP/SLG/OPS was .327/.506/.833.

Kubel’s best season occurred in 2009 with the Minnesota Twins. That year, he hit .300 with 28 homers and 103 RBI.

Supporters of this trade also point to the fact Kubel is a better defender than many give him credit for.

Per ESPN statistics, Kubel boasted the third best fielding percentage (.995) among MLB left fielders in 2012. Only Desmond Jennings (Tampa Bay Rays) and Alfonso Soriano (Chicago Cubs) fared better.

Also impressive, this gritty blue-collar player committed just one error in 196 chances.

Kubel was also second in the majors in assists (13), right behind Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon. 

Yet, for all Kubel’s upside, not everyone in Baltimore supports this seven-year veteran becoming an Oriole.

Fans in this camp point to the fact the Orioles already boast a solid core of outfielders that starts with Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and Nate McLouth.

Baltimore also has Nolan Reimold and Chris Davis. They also have Xavier Avery and L.J. Hoes waiting in the wings.

The same camp is also concerned about what Baltimore would have to surrender to Arizona for Kubel—on top of the $7.5 million he is owed next season (also per Ken Rosenthal).

While Kubel is a solid talent, the Orioles have to be careful not to sell the farm to acquire this guy. This is especially true when considering Kubel has a reputation for being injury-prone. 

The most games Kubel has mustered in one season in his career is 146. That was in 2009 when he had a career year.

Looking at the big picture, both sides of the debate surrounding Kubel have excellent points.

While Orioles fans might enjoy watching Kubel smack stitched circles toward the brick warehouse at Camden Yards, it is imperative Baltimore’s brass uses sound judgment in what it surrenders in return.

Looking at how the Orioles have grown as an outfit the past year or so, fans should reckon they will.