2011 MLB Free Agency: Arizona Diamondbacks Sign Outfielder Jason Kubel
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According to MLBTradeRumors, the Arizona Diamondbacks signed former Minnesota Twins outfielder Jason Kubel to a two-year deal worth $15 million with an option for a third year. The sudden signing was a surprise, as there was little to no chatter about the move before it happened.
It was also surprising because the Diamondbacks already have a solid starting left-fielder in Geraldo Parra, who is a much better defender than Kubel.
Kubel provides the D'Backs lineup with another power bat who can hit a lot of home runs and drive in a lot of RBIs. Arizona is hoping that Kubel can return to his 2009 form where he hit 28 home runs and produced 103 RBIs for Minnesota in addition to finishing 24th in the AL MVP voting.
There is no doubt that Kubel brings an intimidating power presence to Arizona's left-field position that wasn't there before, but the move doesn't improve the team enough to warrant a $15 million contract.
Kubel improves the power of the Arizona lineup, but not much else. Parra provides a stolen base threat when he gets on base, which is basically nonexistent with Kubel. Parra's defense is also much better than Kubel's, so much so that he ends up saving hits in the outfield which saves runs for his team.
Kubel is an average to below-average fielder and while he isn't going to hurt the D'Backs' defense, he isn't going to provide as much of a benefit in the outfield as Parra would.
The D'Backs' signing of Jason Kubel shakes up the Arizona lineup, but appears to be a move that could turn out to hurt the Diamondbacks more than improve them in the long run.
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