Had the Twins not put Kubel on the 25-man roster, they would have had to pay him a $100,000 retention bonus to send him to the minors and stop him from hitting free agency. In addition, Kubel takes the place of the recently waived starting pitcher Vance Worley on the 40-man roster.
Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony, who is in charge of daily operations at spring training while GM Terry Ryan is away from the team battling cancer, likes that Kubel can give them a "professional at bat."
"We think he can provide us offense, and we've seen enough that we believe he can do that," Antony said, according to the Pioneer Press. "He's been healthy. I think the injuries are behind him. They were a big part of his struggles last year. He's got some confidence."
Kubel struggled through injuries last season, finishing with a .167 batting average while playing for the Diamondbacks and Indians. Just two years ago he hit a career-best 30 home runs for Arizona.
In a related move, the Twins re-signed relief pitcher Matt Guerrier to a minor-league contract. Guerrier was granted an unconditional release by the Twins on Monday.