The Diamondbacks have agreed to trade outfielder Jason Kubel to the Indians, per Steve Gilbert of MLB.com. For Kubel, Arizona will reportedly receive a minor league player and cash from Cleveland, in a deal expected to be announced on Friday.
Kubel was designated for assignment on Tuesday after hitting just .220/.288/.324 this season over 267 plate appearances. The 31-year-old veteran also struggled defensively with Arizona, costing the Diamondbacks 12 runs with his play in the outfield this season according to the Total Zone (TZ) metric and 8.5 by Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR).
Despite his struggles this season, Kubel has natural appeal for an Indians team that has had trouble scoring runs lately. Over the last two weeks, the Indians have scored just 36 runs, the second lowest total of any team in the American League. Outfielder Michael Brantley and DH Jason Giambi have been major players in the team's recent offensive drought. Brantley has hit just .190/.277/.238 in 48 plate appearances over the last two weeks and Giambi has hit .133/.125/.267 in 16 plate appearances in that time.
Kubel may be struggling this season, but he is a career .265/.330/.456 hitter and only a year removed from a solid .253/.327/.506 line. He would give Cleveland a viable alternative to some of their lesser hitters and given that he was DFA'd he shouldn't prove too costly for Cleveland.
Update: Arizona will pay the "vast majority" of Kubel's remaining contract and buyout, a source told Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. Kubel is due the remainder of his $7.5 million contract this season, and has a $1 million buyout for next season. Cleveland will send a "lower-tier" prospect to Arizona in return for Kubel.