The Arizona Diamondbacks have been trying to deal Justin Upton for weeks now. They had a deal with the Seattle Mariners that would have sent Upton to Seattle for Nick Franklin, Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, and Taijuan Walker until Upton killed that deal.
Now it is back to the drawing board for the Diamondbacks who are finding it tough to find a team willing to give up good prospects to take on Upton and the $38.5 million he is owed over the next three years. Instead, the Diamondbacks might find it easier to trade Jason Kubel who is only owed $7.5 million this season with an option for next year.
Kubel , 30, is coming off a career-high in home runs last season with 30 in 141 games. He also set a career-high in strikeouts with 151, an increase of 35 strikeouts from his previous career high. However, Kubel kills right-handed pitching, hitting .279/.343/.498 with 113 career homers in 2,237 at-bats against righties. Against left-handed pitching Kubel has posted a .238/.308/.383 line with 21 homers in 828 at-bats.
Any team looking for a DH or platoon outfielder, though Kubel isn’t exactly a wunderkind with the glove, would find a nice option in Kubel if he can be had at the right price. The New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, and Baltimore Orioles would all be good fits for Kubel.
The Orioles need a little offensive punch and Kubel would have a field day at Camden Yards. He could man left field with Nate McClouth and also serve as DH when needed. The Orioles, despite winning 93 games last season haven’t upgraded their offense and it doesn’t look like they will be re-signing Jim Thome and lost Mark Reynolds and his home runs to free agency. The Orioles need to add some pop and Kubel would add just what the Orioles needed, being an upgrade in the lineup over Reynolds by offering more than just all-or-nothing power.
If the Orioles hope to improve upon last season they will need to add some offensive firepower and Kubel would be a step in the right direction.