Jason Kubel refuses assignment to Triple-A, likely to be released by the Twins

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On Sunday, the Twins designated outfielder Jason Kubel for assignment to make room for newcomer Kendrys Morales on the roster. Kubel cleared waivers on Friday, and just rejected an assignment to Triple-A Rochester, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports. As a result, the Twins are expected to release Kubel.

Kubel, 32, slashed a disappointing .224/.313/.295 with one home run and 13 RBI in 176 plate appearances for the Twins. The club had signed him to a minor league deal in December and he earned a major league salary of $2 million after the Twins selected his contract at the end of March. The ten-year veteran should still draw some interest as he can serve as a left-handed bench bat.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.