Indians Decline Jason Kubel’s Option

The Indians have declined their $7.5MM club option on Jason Kubel, the team announced via press release. Kubel will receive a $1MM buyout, which the Diamondbacks are on the hook for following the Aug. 30 trade that sent him from Arizona to Cleveland.

Kubel was acquired for a PTBNL (later revealed to be Matt Langwell) and received only 23 plate appearances for the Tribe down the stretch. He collected just three hits in 18 official at-bats, though he walked five times, so he did manage to get on base at a .348 clip in his brief time with Cleveland.

Kubel belted a career-high 30 home runs in his first season with the DIamondbacks in 2012, but he slumped terribly and battled a quadriceps issue in 2013. Kubel spent two weeks on the DL with the issue and wound up slashing a paltry .216/.293/.317 between the D-Backs and Indians. Because he grades out as one of the worst defensive outfielders in the league, both Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference agreed that he played at a sub-replacement level in 2013.

This year marked the first time since 2006 that Kubel failed to produce an OPS+ of at least 105, so he's a decent candidate to rebound with the bat. His career-high in homers came in 2012, as I mentioned before, but his best overall season at the plate came in 2009 when he slashed .300/.369/.539 with 28 homers for the Twins.

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