Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 12/20/11
PHOENIX The seed was planted here last May, when Jason Kubel knocked the ball around Chase Field with impunity, hitting for the cycle in Minnesotas three-game series. The Twins were swept, but Kubel was kind of swept away. Pretty nice place, he told his agent, Joel Wolfe. I like the way the ball comes off my bat. Obviously a very talented young team. I told Joel then that this would be a good place to be. Seven months later, Kubel has landed. While he was courted by several teams in his first season of free agency this winter, the D-backs were always near the top of his wish list. The D-backs did not see a fit early in the free-agent process as they went after pitching, but after obtaining Trevor Cahill to flesh out the rotation, they took another look for a bat. When D-backs general manager Kevin Towers showed a renewed interest last Thursday, Kubel was quick to agree to a two-year, 15 million contract to become the starting left fielder entering spring training. He will make 7.5 million in 2012 and 2013, and there is a mutual 7.5 million option in 2014. If the D-backs accept the option but Kubel declines, he will lose a 500,000 buyout. He considers it a perfect fit, in a park that is more conducive to his line-drive, all-fields approach. Chase Field ranked as the No. 5 offensive park in the majors last season. Minnesotas Target Field was ranked in the bottom third, at No. 21. A middle-of-the order bat in a hitters park. Kubel, who averaged 27 doubles, 19 homers and 79 RBIs in five seasons as a regular in Minnesota, is pumped. Its no secret that a lot of people didnt like Target Field too much to hit there. I just feel here that I can use the whole field and still put up the power numbers I want to put up instead of having to try to pull the ball in the air to get it out. I do run into trouble trying to do that stuff, Kubel said. I think I can use the whole field here and not worry about hitting a ball that I thought I hit pretty well to center or left-center and just be an out. The D-backs could put together a potent 3-4-5-6 of Justin Upton, Miguel Montero, Chris Young and Kubel. Kubel was told that he will be used in the middle of the lineup and be the starting left fielder, although Towers indicated that Gerardo Parra remains a valuable piece as a fourth outfielder. Playing the field is another plus. Kubel told his winter suitors, which included Cleveland, Cincinnati and Minnesota, that he did not want to be a DH, his primary role the last two seasons. Im not a big fan of the DH. It is boring. You make an out, you have an at-bat you are not happy with at all, then you have to sit there for about 45 minutes going over that at-bat until you do something again, he said. It was a way to get in there and play every day, but I am more than happy to play the outfield every day. I feel more in the game in the outfield. I want to prove that I can do it. Im ready for it. Obviously Im not the fastest guy in the world. I work pretty hard at it. I try to make the best first step and get the best route. Ill make the plays that should be made. Every now and then I get a little athletic out there and make some other ones. I take a lot of pride in doing it right and making all the plays. Kubel, 29, played in only 99 games last season because of a sprained left foot that acted up at times. He wanted to play through it, although rest was prescribed. Things were going so well for myself and the team was struggling, I thought I would get in there and try to help out some more, and I pushed myself to go when I wasnt ready. There were a couple of setbacks here and there and I got the rest I needed, finally, he said. Kubel grew up in Los Angeles as a Dodgers fan, but did not sense a great interest from the Dodgers this winter. That was probably No. 1 choice, and weve had discussions with them quite a bit. Things werent moving. This was a very, very close second. I like how close it is to home. Dont have to worry about going back East any more. It is really a pain. Its the perfect situation here. The decision was very easy. We were on board as soon as he called back, Kubel said. Kubel spent his entire career with Minnesota, an organization known for its toughness and its pride in playing the game the right way. He saw a similar attitude in his short time here last year. Its a young talented team, and Ive been around that for quite a while with what we had going in Minnesota. I hope I fit in really well with the guys, he said. I grew up playing with all the guys in Minnesota. It will be tough to move on. Thats part of the game, part of the business.Follow Jack Magruder on Twitter
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League


NCAA rules that hanging out with hip-hop star Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

RUMOR: Celtics sign Green, Zeller and two others to contract deals

Kevin Durant Thunder jerseys going for less than 50 cents in OKC

Why are Saints holding out on contract talks with Drew Brees?

Jay Gruden gives out primo parking spots to hard-working players

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker