Tue 9 Aug 2011
Player A has a career batting line (average/on-base/slugging) of .275/.338/.456. Player B is at .273/.345/.454. Nearly identical. Player B has hit 38 more homers and driven 156 more runs than Player A in his career, but has 1,698 more plate appearances. Player A is 29, Player B is 32. Both are free agents. Who do you sign?
Player A is Jason Kubel and Player B is Michael Cuddyer. Cuddyer, in the final year of his contract, has spent most of this season being lionized by the fans and media, the thought of losing him makes most recoil in horror. Kubel’s pending free agency meanwhile, is barely mentioned.
While Cuddyer is more versatile than Kubel (but do we really want him playing anything other than RF or 1B long term?) and much more personable and media savvy, is he really a better investment? He’ll be 33 on opening day next year, which means his most productive seasons are probably nearing an end. Kubel turns 30 next May, he’ll just be approaching the age where Cuddyer has reached his peak.
Hopefully this isn’t an either/or proposition, both are good players and solid citizens and the Twins would be better off with both in their line-up in 2012. With Joe Mauer’s albatross of a contract hanging around the organization’s neck however, that doesn’t seem likely.
I caught up with Kubel before the White Sox series last Friday to discuss his season and future.
DZ: You’ve been back for two weeks, how are you feeling, how’s it going for you?
KUBEL: I am doing good. It’s good to be back. I’d like to win some more games, but it is was it is. Hopefully, we’ll start to turn things around.
DZ: You guys just got back from the road trip that ended in Anaheim. You grew up in the area (and live there), did you get a chance to get home at all?
KUBEL: No, I have stuff at my house that wouldn’t allow us to go back. I plan on doing that next time we get out there. It’s nice to have the family come down and everything and catch up with everybody.
DZ: Do you get a lot of ticket requests?
KUBEL: Not many this time. I think everybody takes it upon themselves to get there now.
DZ: You said (in April) that you were building a batting cage, how is that coming along?
KUBEL: It’s coming along good. It’s a taking a while because it’s on a hill so they have to level it off and cut out a bunch of landscaped parts, but it’s coming along real nice.
DZ: Is it a new house?
KUBEL: No, we’ve lived there (pauses) - it will be our second year there (built in 2005). We had a little problem - it flooded this year. It’s getting fixed.
DZ: You were just on a rehab assignment. What’s it like when you go back down to Rochester?
KUBEL: Just to get back playing is cool, but other than that it’s (pauses) - the guys are great, the coaching staff is great. It brought back old memories.
DZ: With you guys, the start wasn’t good, you got hot and seems like the last couple of weeks, you’ve been treading water. Do you still think you have a chance to win the division? (Note this question was asked before the team was swept by the White Sox)
KUBEL: I think we do. We just have to start now and keep going at it and hopefully something good will happen.
DZ: Is there a different feel to you to this year’s team compared to past years?
KUBEL: No, we’ve just been in a better position the past few years. That’s all it is. We got ourselves into a big hole and so far haven’t been able to get ourselves out of it, yet. We are still working at it. We still have chance. We have a lot of games coming up against the Tigers, Indians and White Sox. We’ve got our chance.
DZ: The trading deadline just past. Was it any different this year for you, being in the last year of your contract?
KUBEL: It was a little bit different, just not knowing if I will stay or not. Everything worked out the way I wanted it to. That’s all I can ask for right now.
DZ: When the phone rings that day, do you kind of pause for a second (wondering)?
KUBEL: No, I didn’t think too much into it. I knew deep down I wasn’t going anywhere, so it worked out.
DZ: You are not under contract for next year, have you talked (to the Twins) about that at all?
KUBEL: No, nothing yet. We’ll see how it plays out at the end….We’ll see how it goes after the season. We’ll see what happens.
See more of David Zingler’s interviews with Twins players:
July 26: Luke Hughes
July 19: Glen Perkins
July 17: Ben Revere
July 3: Scott Baker
June 13: Rene Rivera
June 10: Nick Blackburn
June 2: Trevor Plouffe
May 31: Phil Dumatrait
May 28: Justin Morneau
May 24: Denard Span
May 1: Jim Hoey
April 28: Jason Kubel
April 19: Jeff Manship
April 15: Dusty Hughes
One Response to “ Jason Kubel Unfiltered ”
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.