Jason Kubel has been released by the Twins after being designated for assignment and passing through waivers unclaimed by the other 29 teams. Kubel rejected an assignment to the the minors, choosing to hit the open market again as a free agent rather than play at Triple-A for the Twins.
Kubel is only 32 years old and had a career-high 30 homers as recently as 2012, but he’s hit just .219 with six homers and a .609 OPS in 142 games since then and looked completely washed up during the past two months. He got off to a nice start for Minnesota, but then batted .177 with zero homers and 52 strikeouts over a 38-game stretch.
He made the Twins out of spring training on a minor-league contract, returning to Minnesota after playing there from 2004-2011, and earned $2 million on the deal.
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The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.
Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.
While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.