By La Velle
It’s not hard to figure out the player the Twins are interested in signing for more than one year. It’s Kubel, who’s coming off of career highs in homers (20) RBI (78), hits (126) and walks (47). He began to take hold of the DH role last season and is a candidate for a breakout season.
He avoided arbitration last season by signing a $1.3 million contract and stands to get a nice bump in salary for 2009. Players and teams began filing arbitration numbers on Jan. 5 (Kubel hasn’t filed yet) and have until Thursday. Figures are officially exchanged on Monday.
The Twins are interested in signing Kubel to a two-year deal that would take care of his final two years of arbitration. Kubel confirmed on Monday that the Twins have approached his agent on the subject.
“If it happens, I hope it happens quick,” Kubel said by phone from his home near San Diego.
It makes sense. There’s nothing wrong with cost certainty. The Twins already have $50 million committed to Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Joe Nathan, Michael Cuddyer and Nick Punto in 2010 and likely will be locked into contract negotiations with Mauer by then. Trying to get Kubel locked up now is a no-brainer.
As for Guerrier, he’s coming off of a poor season and would be better served to try to improve his numbers for arbitration next year. The Twins only want to sign him to a one-year deal anyway.