Kubel, 31, is in the final year of a two-year, $16 million contract and is making $7.5 million in 2013. There is a mutual option for $7.5 million for '14, which includes a $1 million buyout. The Indians will receive cash from the D-backs to offset the remaining salary and likely buyout.
The 2013 season has been a frustrating one for Kubel, who has battled a variety of leg ailments. After slugging 30 homers and compiling an .833 on-base plus slugging for the D-backs in 2012, he slumped to a slash line of .220/.288/.324 this year.
"Just trying to stay healthy and stay in the lineup, it was a rough year for that," Kubel said Tuesday of his struggles. "It's hard to figure everything out; I just couldn't put together why it happened. It's tough, but it's part of the business. I wasn't helping my case anyways. That's just how it is, I'll just try to keep going."
With his playing time diminished, the D-backs elected to DFA him and try to find a trade partner.
They found one in the Indians, who are looking to bolster their offense as they make a push for a postseason berth.
On Thursday night, Cleveland dropped a 3-1 decision to Atlanta at Turner Field, suffering a three-game series sweep at the hands of the National League East-leading Braves. Beginning on Friday, the Indians open a critical three-game road series with the first-place Tigers, who hold a 6 1/2-game lead on the Indians in the AL Central.
The Indians' offense has labored in August, ranking last in the AL in average (.227), on-base percentage (.295), slugging percentage (.354) and runs scored (85) for the month.
"I'm confident I can still play, but we'll see if I get a chance," Kubel said Tuesday. "Hopefully I can play some meaningful games for somebody else."
It appears that he will get his wish in Cleveland.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.