Not often do you see a Gold Glove winner benched the following season, but that's the case for Gerardo Parra. The Arizona Diamondbacks signed Jason Kubel to a two year/$15 million deal with a mutual option for 2014. Kubel is expected to be the D-Backs left fielder, which pushes Parra into the fourth outfielder role.
I'm impressed with Arizona's aggressiveness this off-season, and I applaud them for not settling with last year's success. They've picked up Trevor Cahill via trade with the Oakland Athletics (It's that time of year again when the Athletics unload their young pitching studs for prospects) which will solidify a very young and intimidating rotation. They've also signed a slew of aged veterans such as Lyle Overbay, Henry Blanco, and Takashi Saito. These signings only add insurance and experience to a young team of good ballplayers. The Diamondbacks, in my opinion, are groomed to be the NL West Champs again in 2012. The only thing I don't like, is that Gerardo Parra's contribution and development last season will be halted by Kubel this upcoming season.
Kubel will add some extra pop to the lineup, but what they'll be missing is Parra's gold glove defense and speed. I'd say this would be a nice platoon for the Diamondbacks, but $7.5 million a season is a bit pricey for a platoon player. Especially a platoon player who mostly DH'd for the past few seasons.
I would have rather seen the Diamondbacks spend less money and pick up a fourth outfielder such as Luke Scott and allowed Parra to have the deserved starting job. Scott (Career: .264/.349/.494) would provide close to the same offensive numbers as Kubel (Career: .271/.335/.459), but without the price tag due to injury and age. Scott would be a risk, but I believe he could be had at a two year/$10 million contract. This gives you a little more financial wiggle room in case you would like to add an extra reliever or save the money to start locking up some of the youngsters.
What do you think of the Kubel deal? Do you think Parra should be the starting left fielder for the D-Backs?