The Twins have signed veteran outfielder Drew Stubbs to a minor league contract, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. Stubbs has been invited to spring training and will compete for a role on the bench as a fourth outfielder.
At 32 years old, Stubbs has spent parts of eight different seasons in the majors with six different teams, including two separate stints with the Texas Rangers. The majority of his time was spent with the Reds from 2009 to 2012.
Never truly a starting-caliber player due to his 30% strikeout rate and subsequent low batting average, Stubbs features a blend of speed and power. A career .244/.314/.394 hitter, he has four seasons with 20 or more stolen bases and also have five seasons with 10 or more home runs. He also has walked in nearly 9% of his plate appearances (league average was just over 8% last year) and the fact that he bats righthanded means that he’d be an excellent complement to lefties Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler. Toss in that he’s played primarily center field (UZR/150 calls him average while DRS doesn’t think highly of him) in his career and it looks like Stubbs has a pretty decent chance of following in the footsteps of Sam Fuld, Logan Schafer, et. al that were backup outfielders acquired from outside the organization.
This move certainly puts pressure on Danny Santana, who has struggled since his debut in 2014. Stubbs’ presence also likely threatens Robbie Grossman since Grossman struggled defensively last year and doesn’t have much of an offensive track record.