The Dbacks sign Jason Kubel

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The Twins have been trying to keep him. The Reds talked to him. But the Dbacks got him: Jason Kubel is heading to Arizona.

Tom Krasovic was the first to report Kubel signing with the Diamondbacks. The exact terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but it’s two years and an option year per Rosenthal. UPDATE: Heyman says the deal is two-years, $15 million which sort of seems right.

It could be a decent fit.  Kubel’s numbers have not been stellar over the past couple of years, especially for a DH/corner guy, but Target Field has hurt him a lot. last year he was .253/.314/.377 in Minnesota and .288/.345/.476 on the road. Chase Field will be much friendlier to him, one would assume.

Where he plays is an interesting question. Does he take time away from Paul Goldschmidt at first base in a platoon situation?  Or does he take time away from Gerardo Parra in left? Or both?  Kubel isn’t good with the glove in the outfield and Parra is, but you’d think the Dbacks would want to give Goldschmidt every opportunity to play every day.  I’m not going to counsel Kirk Gibson about how to deal with this because he’d probably yell at me and frankly he scares me a little.

UPDATE: Rosenthal says Kubel will be the everyday left fielder. Should be interesting.

Tigers sign Edwin Espinal to minor league deal

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Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.

Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.

Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.