The Philadelphia Phillies need outfield help next year unless they want to go with an entirely homegrown outfield of Darin Ruf, John Mayberry, Jr., and Domonic Brown.
The free agent options are limited, especially if the Phillies don’t want to shell out $100 million-plus for Josh Hamilton or $60 million for center fielder Michael Bourn.
But what about a solid hitter like Jason Kubel? The Arizona Diamondbacks have made it known they are willing to trade left fielder Kubel, and he would be a great fit for the Phillies offense.
Kubel is already 30 years old and he will be 31 by May of 2013 but he is coming off a strong season as a hitter – Kubel is a terrific left-handed power bat who added 30 home runs last year, driving in 90 runs while posting a .506 slugging percentage.
Kubel has one year remaining on his two-year deal before he hits free agency so the Phillies would essentially be trading for a year of Kubel’s services before they would have to decide whether they want to sign him for several more seasons.
Kubel has had some success over his career – he has hit 20 home runs in a season four times and he’s driven in 90 runs three times. He won MVP votes for the Minnesota Twins back in 2009 when he batted .300 with 28 homers and 103 RBIs, and he’s posted an adjusted OPS every year since ’07.
I’m not sure what the Phillies would have to give up for Kubel but I doubt it would be too much. And he would be a great addition to the lineup, although the Phillies would then have three lefties they would want to hit 3-4-5 in the lineup and they wouldn’t want to do that. But say Carlos Ruiz plays well enough to hit fifth next year and Kubel bats sixth, the Phillies would have a much-improved lineup.