The Minnesota Twins will likely release outfielder Jason Kubel after the veteran refused an assignment to the minor leagues, reports MLB Trade Rumors’ Zach Links. Kubel was designated for assignment by Minnesota last week after a rough start to the 2014 season.
Kubel, signed to a minor league deal by the Twins last offseason, struggled in his return to the club after two years with Arizona and Cleveland. Over 45 games, he batted .224/.313/.295 with just one home run, failing to replicate the power numbers that made him an effective player in the past.
Those struggles led the Twins to DFA Kubel last Sunday, at which point the team was left with seven days to trade, release or waive the outfielder. After the team eventually placed Kubel on waivers, where he passed unclaimed, the team took the standard next step of offering him an assignment to the minor leagues.
Given the option to accept or decline that minor league assignment, Kubel opted for the latter and will hit free agency, likely in search of another opportunity at the big league level. Whether he finds that remains to be seen, but teams will likely look towards his 2012 performance in search of optimism.
Just two years ago, Kubel actually played pretty well in his debut season with the Diamondbacks, batting .253/.327/.506 with a career-high 30 home runs over 571 plate appearances. He’s struggled badly since then, getting traded to Cleveland in a midseason deal before ending up as a low-risk flier in Minnesota.
Kubel also played for the Twins from 2004-11.