After being stuck in DFA limbo for just a couple of days, Jason Kubel has a new home: the Cleveland Indians. Arizona dealt Kubel to the Tribe for a player to be named later and will be picking up nearly all the money remaining on his contract.
Saying that Kubel has stunk in 2013 has been an understatement, a point that I made on Wednesday. But his weaknesses this year (and throughout his career) have mainly been against left-handers, and the Indians plan on using him correctly in a platoon role against righties, limiting (if not completely eliminating) his plate appearances against southpaws.
However, the acquisition doesn't make a lot of sense in that the Indians already have a player who can't play defense and can't hit left-handers in Jason Giambi. Adding Kubel, a player that can fake defense but *still* can't hit lefties, seems a little redundant. He's essentially replacing the terrible Mark Reynolds on Cleveland's roster after Reynolds was released earlier this month after hitting .215/.307/.373 with 15 homers, a sky-high strikeout rate, and no defensive skills whatsoever.
In reality, this is really just a depth move that didn't cost the Indians much of anything, so I can't get too critical about it. The Indians are 6.5 games back of the Tigers for the AL Central lead and four games behind the A's for the AL's second wild card, and the club scored just three runs while getting swept by the Braves this week. They're not going to face a left-handed starter at all in their next two series with the Tigers and Orioles, and Detroit has just one lefty reliever. This could be a last ditch effort for the Indians to push themselves into the playoffs, and it's really not going to be a deal breaker for them if Kubel doesn't perform well.