Nationals Shopping Lopez, Kearns

According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, the Nationals are shopping shortstop Felipe Lopez and outfielder Austin Kearns.  Two targets: Mike Pelfrey of the Mets and Kevin Slowey of the Twins.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see Omar Minaya flip Pelfrey for someone with more immediate value.  While the Mets could use Kearns in right field, he’s not the type of return one envisions for Pelfrey.  Maybe for a Phil Humber though.  Kearns will earn $5MM in ’08, and $8MM in ’09 plus a $10MM club option for ’10 with a $1MM buyout.  The 27 year-old hit .266/.355/.411 this year.

The match for Slowey seems better – Lopez could play short for the Twins and Kearns might be able to handle center.  However, trading Slowey and Matt Garza in the same offseason seems unlikely, and even less likely if Johan Santana is moved.  If Lopez’s defense is truly improved, maybe the Rays would have interest.

Another guy who could work for the Rays is Cristian Guzman.  Ladson says the Cubs were rumored in on Guzman but that one was shot down. 


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