The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported on Friday that former Minnesota Twin Jason Kubel is interested in making a return to the land of 10,000 lakes.
Since leaving the Twins in 2012, Kubel spent time with the Arizona Diamondbacks before finishing the 2013 season with the Cleveland Indians. The Indians recently declined his $7.5 million option leaving Kubel with a $1 million buyout.
If Kubel returned to the Twins, he would find himself in a larger role than when he was on the squad from 2004 to 2011. Minnesota would likely look to Kubel as a veteran and expect him to pick up some of the offensive slack that has been neglected in recent seasons.
In his previous seven seasons as a Twin, Kubel posted a .271 batting average, .459 slugging percentage, and knocked in 104 home runs while logging time as both a designated hitter and outfielder. In 2012, Kubel proved his worth as a power hitter by hitting 30 home runs and racking up 90 RBI for the Diamondbacks.
Unfortunately, injuries to Kubel’s quadriceps caused him some trouble in 2013 and hindered his usually powerful performances at the plate. Luckily for the Twins, they would pick up Kubel fully recovered and ready for a rebound year in 2014.
Kubel has expressed his sentiments over a return to Target Field, reflecting on his time in Minnesota to Pioneer Press reporter Mike Berardino: “I loved it here. I really miss the guys. I had a great relationship with Gardy, Andy (pitching coach Rick Anderson), (Joe) Vavra — all the coaches and the few players I remember that are still there. I love the guys over there.”
Kubel’s return would also be a family reunion, seeing as his brother-in-law is Twins’ reliever Michael Tonkin.
Caroline Ponessa is a Minnesota Twins writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter @RantCaroline