Signing a minor league free agent contract with an invite to Spring Training doesn’t guarantee anything. You certainly still have to prove that you are worth a valuable roster spot on a MLB team. There have been players who have signed such deals in the past, weren’t able to hold up their end of the bargain, and were shipped out of town once camps broke.
The Minnesota Twins signed Jason Kubel to one of these deals this offseason, giving him the chance to prove he belongs once again.
Kubel enjoyed some success his first time around, making the playoffs with the Twins in 2009 and 2010. After the Twins decided to not re-sign him, he moved on to the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he started a bit of a decline in production, which eventually led to his trade to the Cleveland Indians last season. Kubel never found his stroke with the Indians and only appeared in eight games.
The Twins took a flyer on him this year and so far, it isn’t working out so well. Spring Training is still in its beginning stages, but in the four games he has played so far, he has only one hit. The outfield situation for the Twins is still up in the air, so in order for Kubel to stay in Minnesota, he will have to certainly improve. He could be used as the designated hitter, but there is a chance that the Twins could have a cheaper internal option. As it is right now, the other outfielders in camp have struggled, so this may be something that is answered in the last few days of the spring.
The Twins took on the Baltimore Orioles today at Hammond Stadium in the team’s first night game of the spring, but they dropped this one 11-5. Mike Pelfry made his second start and it didn’t go so well, going two and a third innings and giving up his first two runs of the spring.