The Diamondbacks have already parted with their center fielder in Chris Young, and their right fielder, Justin Upton, has been a hot topic in trade rumors for a full year now. Now they’re also considering a change in left field, as FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi reports that they’ve discussed Jason Kubel with multiple teams.
Kubel is due $7.5 million next year in the final guaranteed year of his contract. There’s also a $7.5 million mutual option on his deal for 2015.
Signed last winter in a surprising deal, Kubel hit .253/.327/.506 with 30 homers and 90 RBI in his first year with the Diamondbacks. If Arizona moves him, then Gerardo Parra would likely be restored to everyday status in left field. As is, Adam Eaton and Parra are set to battle for time in center.
Morosi doesn’t go into specifics about what teams have discussed Kubel, but the Rangers, Mariners and Orioles would seem to be some of the most likely suitors. Those are also the three AL teams linked to Adam LaRoche, a left-handed bat of similar quality (though one with quite a bit more defensive value).
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.