Welcome to the 2007 MLB season!! OK, just kidding. After a quiet week at the winter meetings in Florida where the Twins contacted several former Twins players, they signed a player who they drafted—and another Twin from 2007 may be joining the team. It did not take long for Terry Ryan to ink Jason Bartlett to a Minor League deal in November. It turns out Bartlett was just the beginning of former Twins that are coming back.
In an unexpected move, the Twins announced on December 13 that they are bringing back outfielder Jason Kubel on a Minor League deal. Kubel, who debuted with the Twins in 2004, was a great hitter at the Metrodome. In 2009, Kubel smacked 28 home runs and had 103 RBIs. He hit 20 or more home runs in three consecutive seasons at the Dome. During the Twins home opener in 2010, Kubel hit the first home run at Target Field. But Kubel struggled hitting at Target Field, eventually leaving as a free agent. And then, in his first season with Arizona in 2012, Kubel smashed 30 home runs! In splitting time between Arizona and Cleveland last season, Kubel faltered, hitting just five home runs for the year. He should have a great opportunity to make the big league team though, and the Twins are hoping Kubel can regain his 2012 stroke and be a big contributor at Target Field. In my opinion, Kubel should be the everyday right fielder, with Josh Willingham being the designated hitter.
During the winter meetings, the Twins made contact with free agent pitcher Matt Garza, who was also on that 2007 Twins team. But the Twins will have to pay a lot for him as he is a remaining top free agent. Garza said last week he would be willing to join the Twins again. So, we will have to see where he chooses to play next year. So yes, Twins fans, 2014 is taking on a old-style look. How about bringing back Cuddy, too?!
Written by: Michael L. Sack