Outfielder Jason Kubel is returning to his former club, inking a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training.
Kubel, drafted by the Twins in 2000, played in Minnesota from 2004-2011 before leaving via free agency and signing a 2-year deal with the Diamondbacks. He had a nice year in 2012, belting 30 HR and 90 RBI in 506 AB. He struggled last season, in which he split between Arizona and Cleveland with a line of .216/.293/.317 and a .610 OPS, the weakest of his career.
The move makes sense for the Twins and is a nice buy-low option. If Kubel can find his stride, he can be a decent DH or a threat bat off the bench. Even on a minor league deal, I’d imagine we’ll see Jason back at Target Field at some point this summer.
Some nice memories:
- He hit the first home run at Target Field’s inaugural game – a solo shot to right field. I was at the game. It was awesome.
- This grand slam he hit off Mariano Rivera, also in 2010. The Twins have been terrible at Yankee Stadium, and it was Kubel’s first home run in over a month.
- He hit for the cycle in this game against in the Angels in 2009, capped off by a grand slam in the bottom of the 8th inning.