Released by the Rangers just days before the 2016 season began, Drew Stubbs inked a minor league contract with the Braves and ended up making their 25-man roster as an outfield reserve. He appeared in 20 games but was designated for assignment in early May. He was brought back by the Rangers but played only sparingly as a toe sprain landed him on the 60-day disabled list. The 31-year-old completed the DFA hat trick when he was again designated for assignment after the Rangers signed Carlos Gomez. The Orioles took a chance on Stubbs and he appeared in 20 games at the close of the season, operating mostly as a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement. His total 2016 performance between the three clubs was very pedestrian, as he finished with a .225/.330/.338 slash line and struck out in over 40 percent of his plate appearances. Stubbs signed with the Twins on a minor league contract in February, but his days of fantasy relevance are probably behind him.
Stubbs went 1-for-1 with two walks in Monday's spring training win over Miami. He's competing for a reserve outfielder role. "He's a veteran guy, he's had some numbers. He's got an opportunity here," manager Paul Molitor told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Stubbs hit just .225 with a .667 OPS last season with three different MLB teams. He's likely a long shot to win a reserve outfield role, but it's possible that the new Twins management may not be totally committed to Robbie Grossman as the fourth outfielder.
Stubbs signed a minor league deal with the Twins on Tuesday that includes an invitation to spring training, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports. Stubbs hasn't had much MLB success since his 2014 campaign with the Rockies in which he hit .289 with 15 home runs and 20 stolen bases. With a solid spring training performance, it's possible that the 32-year-old could play his way into a reserve outfield role for the Twins in 2017.
Stubbs made his first start for the Orioles on Wednesday and went 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. Stubbs was 0-for-3 while coming off the bench since being claimed by the Orioles a week ago. He has a career .274/.349/.449 slash line against left-handers, which is likely why he got the start against Drew Smyly. Stubbs went 1-for-2 with an infield single against Smyly before right-handed relief took over. Stubbs will remain in a crowded outfield mix with Steve Pearce, Hyun Soo Kim, Nolan Reimold and Michael Bourn on the roster.
Stubbs was claimed off waivers by the Orioles on Wednesday, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports. When healthy, the Orioles have a starting outfield of Hyun Soo Kim, Adam Jones, and Mark Trumbo. While Stubbs line of .259/.343/.414 isn't enough to take a spot from any of the aforementioned players, he'll add valuable depth to the Baltimore roster. It's expected that he'll join the team Friday for their series opener against the Yankees.
Stubbs refused his assignment to the minors and was placed on irrevocable waivers Monday, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. The Rangers had designated Stubbs for assignment last week after acquiring Carlos Gomez, but the 31-year-old declined going to the minor leagues. He'll now look to continue his season elsewhere and it's possible there will be some interest on the waiver wire especially once rosters expand in September, but the veteran had been hitting a combined .259 through 39 games this season with the Braves and Rangers.