The rumor around the baseball hot stove is that the White Sox are kicking the tires on trading for Jason Kubel. Kubel signed a 2 year deal worth $7.5 million per back in 2011 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The deal is in the final year, which would work for the Sox because it would put payroll at $110 million. Kubel had a decent year hitting .253/30 HRs/90 RBI's with Arizona last season. The Diamondbacks signing of Cody Ross to a 3 year $26 million dollar deal this off season gives them a crowded outfield. Kubel killed the Sox when he was with the Minnesota Twins. At US Cellular Field in 133 AB's, Kubel has 14 HRs and a OPS over .960. Why does Kubel fit the Sox need in 2013?
Kubel is left handed bat that can give you about 30HR's a season. He is versatile enough to use in left field, right field, DH, and 1B. He also is a high on base percentage player, which the Sox need. With departures of AJ Pierzynski and Kevin Youkilis, the Sox can use a power bat. Tyler Flowers will give you some pop ,but will likely be a high strike out candidate. Jeff Keppinger isn't going to give you a lot of pop, but he is going to make contact and get on base. The White Sox struggled offensively last year in September, which contributed to them finishing 2nd in the AL Central. The addition of Kubel would allow manager Robin Ventura to keep players fresher and ideally maintain a solid push in September to reach the playoffs. Ventura could use Kubel in left field against right handed pitching which he kills. Dayan Viciedo is better at hitting left handed pitching, so it's a perfect match. Kubel can spell Rios in right field, who almost plays every day, so Rios stays healthy. If Paul Konerko needs a day off or more time at DH, Ventura will have options in playing either Dunn or Kubel at 1B/DH. He also brings a solid bat off the bench in late inning situations. It seems like a ideal fit.
The Arizona Diamondbacks would likely trade Kubel for a prospect if the White Sox take on all of the salary. The White Sox could look to move a outfield prospect like Jordan Danks or Jared Mitchell since they have a deep minor league system of good young outfielders on their way up. The idea of trading for Kubel is something that GM Rick Hahn should seriously consider. He would provide a excellent boost to a very right handed lineup and a offense that struggled last year late in the season.
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