The Arizona Diamondbacks made one of the more significant trades of the waiver trade period, in moving veteran outfielder Jason Kubel to the Cleveland Indians. Trading Kubel had long been rumored as a potential deal for the Diamondbacks, with the move finally coming this month. And it made plenty of sense.
Previously having been designated for assignment, the Diamondbacks sent Kubel to the Tribe, though the return for the veteran outfielder is unclear. What is clear is that he’ll be a solid acquisition for the Indians, who greatly lacked a big bat in their lineup, and get a guy capable of playing both in the lineup and as a designated hitter.
Kubel is coming off of a pretty solid first season with the Diamondbacks, his first in the National League. Surprisingly enough, he was very good in the field, which helped him to earn a more permanent spot with the D-Backs. However, they added Cody Ross and combined with the likes of Gerardo Parra and Adam Eaton, among others, Kubel simply didn’t seem to fit.
In his time with Arizona this season, Kubel had only made 267 plate appearances. His struggles at the plate relegated him to a bench role, where he was primarily used as a pinch hitter. Combine that with the depth that the Diamondbacks have in the outfield, both veteran and rookie, and there wasn’t a fit there anymore.
The trade will certainly benefit Kubel, who gets to go into a setting where a big lefty bat is absolutely needed. It will also benefit the Diamondbacks, who get something of value for Kubel, who was likely to depart via free agency anyway. Unfortunately for them, though, it likely doesn’t increase their chances of landing a playoff spot.