MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have exercised Jason Kubel’s $5.25 million club option for 2011 and declined the $5 million club option for infielder Nick Punto.

The team announced the decisions Friday.

Kubel hit .249 with 21 home runs and 92 RBIs for the Twins this season, primarily playing in right field. He was the team’s designated hitter to begin the season, but moved to the outfield when first baseman Justin Morneau went down with a concussion in July.

The Twins moved starting right fielder Michael Cuddyer to first base and inserted Jim Thome as the everyday DH.

Punto will get a $500,000 buyout of his contract and will become a free agent. He hit .238 with 11 doubles in 88 games and could return to the Twins at a lower salary.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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