Winter Meetings 2012: Arizona Diamondbacks Could Deal Outfielder Jason Kubel

By Michael Terrill
Jennifer Hilderbrand-US PRESSWIRE

It has been a well-known fact that the Arizona Diamondbacks have been interested in dealing an outfielder during Major League Baseball’s winter meetings. The talks have been mostly centered on Justin Upton, but recently Arizona has made it clear that Kubel is definitely up for grabs.

The long-time Minnesota Twins outfielder had an outstanding season in left field in his first year with the Diamondbacks. His .253 batting average may not have been up to par with previous seasons; however, he did have a career-high 30 home runs with 90 RBIs, 30 doubles and four triples in 506 plate appearances.

Teams looking for a corner outfielder will now move away from Upton and turn their interest to Kubel because he has a $7.5 million asking price for the 2013 season compared to Upton’s $9.75 million. Not to mention, Kubel’s contract is up in 2013 with a $7.5 million mutual option ($1 million buyout) for 2014. Meanwhile, Upton still has four years remaining on his $51.25 million, six-year contract.

More important than the contract details is that Kubel had the better statistical season then Upton. The right fielder may have had the better batting average (.280) then Kubel, but his power numbers were way down. However, the two concerns teams may have for Kubel is that he can be rather inconsistent and his 151 strikeouts this past season are certainly alarming.

It will be interesting to see which player the Diamondbacks end up trading as it is clear the organization is ready to create some room in the outfield while also shedding a pricey contract. As of right now, it is unknown what teams will be interested but there are sure to be several suitors.

Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.

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