Kubel probably will sign elsewhere
The Twins are still waiting on their third 2012 outfielder, but one thing seems certain: It won't be Jason Kubel. Not according to the longtime Twins outfielder and designated hitter.
Asked late Wednesday whether he and the Twins are done negotiating, Kubel said, "Probably so."
Kubel, 29, is one of three players the Twins have been chasing hard the past 72 hours as they try to fill their starting lineup; the others are teammate Michael Cuddyer and Oakland A's outfielder Josh Willingham.
Word of a deal with Willingham was reported nationally on Monday, but nothing has materialized, and Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said late Wednesday there is no deal.
"We're still looking for a right fielder with some power," he said. "It's no secret."
Cuddyer, 32, and Kubel shared right field the past several years, with Kubel primarily the designated hitter, but it appears to be down to Cuddyer and Willingham, both of whom reportedly have offers on the table - though the Twins will not confirm. Asked if he were disappointed to be ending a relationship that started in 2000, when he was a 12th-round pick in the first-year player draft, Kubel said, "In a way, yeah."
But Kubel wasn't enamored of playing in Target Field. After hitting a career-high 28 home runs in 2009, his numbers dipped to 21 in 2010 and 12 last year, when he was limited to 99 games because of a severely sprained left foot. A left-handed hitter, Kubel's gap power was swallowed by the Twins'
Said Antony, "We have not called Kubel or his agent to tell them we've moved on."
But Kubel has been reading reports of a three-year, $24 million offer to Cuddyer and a three-year, $21 million offer to Willingham, 32.
"One thing is they want a right-handed bat," Kubel said. "And Cuddy does everything (defensively). I don't know whether that made a negative impact or not."
— John Shipley
McClatchy News Services