Indians Sign Austin Kearns

The Indians signed outfielder Austin Kearns to a minor league deal, according to a team press release.

Kearns, 30 in May, hit .195/.336/.305 in 211 plate appearances for the Nationals this year, logging 363 innings in right field.  He had thumb surgery in August, ending his season.  The Nats predictably declined Kearns' $10MM club option after the season, finishing a three-year, $17.5MM extension given by Jim Bowden in January of '07.  Bowden's July '06 acquisition of Kearns, Felipe Lopez, and Ryan Wagner from the Reds for Bill Bray, Royce Clayton, Brendan Harris, Gary Majewski, and Daryl Thompson was seen as a masterstroke at the time.

Kearns has been lousy offensively the last two years, though his right field defense remains a plus.  It's a decent no-risk pickup for the Tribe, who also added Shelley Duncan yesterday.


34 Responses to Indians Sign Austin Kearns Leave a Reply

  1. Amazing how far Kearns has fallen. It doesn’t seem like that long ago when he looked like a guy with the potential to be a multiple time all star in Cinn

  2. nats222 5 years ago

    Keep taking the washed up Nationals players Manny…

  3. nats222 5 years ago

    Keep taking the washed up Nationals players Manny…

  4. crunchy1 5 years ago

    He’s been a Hendry favorite for years. I’m surprised the Cubs didn’t sign him to a minor league deal as right handed OF insurance. I’m hoping this means the Cubs have set their sights higher, but I’m not encouraged by Hendry’s statement that Jeff Baker can play the outfield if needed. It looks like we’re putting all our eggs in the Soriano/A-Ram/Lee basket once again in the hopes that all 3 can stay healthy all year. The trouble is if and when Soriano gets hurt, you’ll have a LF of Baker/Hoffpauir and a 2b tandem of Andres Blanco and Mike Fontenot. Not exactly a formula for success if Soriano is out for an extended period of time. Even if there is no injury by some miracle to any of the big three, the Cubs still have no righty backup that can spell Fukudome against tough lefties, which for Fukudome is most of the lefties in major league baseball.

    • Suzysman 5 years ago

      “I’m hoping this means the Cubs have set their sights higher, but I’m not encouraged by Hendry’s statement that Jeff Baker can play the outfield if needed.”

      :(

    • zuma420 5 years ago

      What does this have to do with the Cubs??

  5. crunchy1 5 years ago

    He’s been a Hendry favorite for years. I’m surprised the Cubs didn’t sign him to a minor league deal as right handed OF insurance. I’m hoping this means the Cubs have set their sights higher, but I’m not encouraged by Hendry’s statement that Jeff Baker can play the outfield if needed. It looks like we’re putting all our eggs in the Soriano/A-Ram/Lee basket once again in the hopes that all 3 can stay healthy all year. The trouble is if and when Soriano gets hurt, you’ll have a LF of Baker/Hoffpauir and a 2b tandem of Andres Blanco and Mike Fontenot. Not exactly a formula for success if Soriano is out for an extended period of time. Even if there is no injury by some miracle to any of the big three, the Cubs still have no righty backup that can spell Fukudome against tough lefties, which for Fukudome is most of the lefties in major league baseball.

  6. Jiujitsu411420 5 years ago

    With Shelly and Austin the tribe is gonna have some pop in their triple a affiliate.

  7. Jiujitsu411420 5 years ago

    With Shelly and Austin the tribe is gonna have some pop in their triple a affiliate.

  8. adub 5 years ago

    I’m not so sure that it was seen as a masterstroke by everyone, but either way Wayne Krivsky and the Reds got the better of the deal in the long run. Wagner and Kearns fell apart and Lopez’s attitude took years to be corrected eventually in St. Louis. Unloading two overrated players and gaining Bray (who still has upside) offsets the dissappointment of Majewski.

    • I disagree…the reaction at the time was that Krivsky did horribly in that deal, and I still think he should have gotten more regardless of what happened after.

    • I disagree…the reaction at the time was that Krivsky did horribly in that deal, and I still think he should have gotten more regardless of what happened after.

  9. adub 5 years ago

    I’m not so sure that it was seen as a masterstroke by everyone, but either way Wayne Krivsky and the Reds got the better of the deal in the long run. Wagner and Kearns fell apart and Lopez’s attitude took years to be corrected eventually in St. Louis. Unloading two overrated players and gaining Bray (who still has upside) offsets the dissappointment of Majewski.

  10. SmackSaw 5 years ago

    Stick a fork in him.

  11. SmackSaw 5 years ago

    Stick a fork in him.

  12. andrewdavis82 5 years ago

    I find it interesting that baseball reference refers to Paul O’Neil as a similar hitter at the age of 29. Will he be the next Paul O’Neil highly highly unlikely, but a minor league deal is always not a bad option especially for a team that has been having an ongoing garage sale of its players. If his swing improves any and he even returns to his form of 2yrs ago when he hit .266 with 16hr 74rbi then he is a mega steal.

  13. andrewdavis82 5 years ago

    I find it interesting that baseball reference refers to Paul O’Neil as a similar hitter at the age of 29. Will he be the next Paul O’Neil highly highly unlikely, but a minor league deal is always not a bad option especially for a team that has been having an ongoing garage sale of its players. If his swing improves any and he even returns to his form of 2yrs ago when he hit .266 with 16hr 74rbi then he is a mega steal.

  14. Say Hello to your Starting Right Fielder, Cleveland Fans. This was absolutely a Manny Acta hire.

    Hope you guys are enjoying Manny as much as we did here in DC.

    • Shin Soo Choo is theTribe’s starting right fielder. Kearns is a minor league signing. Why post about the Indians when you clearly know nothing about the team?

      • just being a little snarky. Most of the people here post about the Nats when they don’t know anything about them either. but i hear no complaints there. cause you know, “it’s the Nats” so it doesn’t matter right?I guarantee you, Kearns makes the team out of ST and gets significant playing time during the season. if not in Right, then in Left. at the very minimum he’s the first or 2nd bat off the bench for Manny and the 4th Oferdoubt me now, but I’ll be saying I told you so during the season.Manny was totally behind bringing Kearns in, and no matter how bad Kearns is during the actual season, if he has a decent ST, Manny will continue to throw him out there. book it.

        how do I know? because it’s what he did in DC.

    • Shin Soo Choo is theTribe’s starting right fielder. Kearns is a minor league signing. Why post about the Indians when you clearly know nothing about the team?

  15. Say Hello to your Starting Right Fielder, Cleveland Fans. This was absolutely a Manny Acta hire.

    Hope you guys are enjoying Manny as much as we did here in DC.

  16. Largebill 5 years ago

    As an Indians fan living in Cincinnati, I didn’t buy the hype on him. He always seemed to resist coaching and tended to carry extra weight. I thought the trade to Washington might wake him up and motivate him to do better. I was wrong. However, as an Indians fan I have no problem with giving him a minor league contract and possibly getting a good year from a guy trying to get a new contract.

  17. Largebill 5 years ago

    As an Indians fan living in Cincinnati, I didn’t buy the hype on him. He always seemed to resist coaching and tended to carry extra weight. I thought the trade to Washington might wake him up and motivate him to do better. I was wrong. However, as an Indians fan I have no problem with giving him a minor league contract and possibly getting a good year from a guy trying to get a new contract.

  18. I love this move for the Tribe. Even when he’s at his worst, he draws walks and plays a great RF. The upside of maybe squezing 15-20 home runs out of him if he can stay semi-healthy is worth the $900,000 gamble they probably have to make if he cracks the Opening Day roster.

    The Shelley Duncan signing is just dreadful though. Why the Indians bother with the Yankees’ corner outfield detritus after the fantastic experiences with Ricky Ledee and Shane Spencer is completely beyond me.

  19. I love this move for the Tribe. Even when he’s at his worst, he draws walks and plays a great RF. The upside of maybe squezing 15-20 home runs out of him if he can stay semi-healthy is worth the $900,000 gamble they probably have to make if he cracks the Opening Day roster.

    The Shelley Duncan signing is just dreadful though. Why the Indians bother with the Yankees’ corner outfield detritus after the fantastic experiences with Ricky Ledee and Shane Spencer is completely beyond me.

  20. I think it’s a good move for the Tribe. They’re in re-building mode, so it’s not as if a) they’re looking to sign expensive players b) expensive players would be interested in playing there.

    If Kearns bounces back, great signing–if he doesn’t, who cares.

  21. I think it’s a good move for the Tribe. They’re in re-building mode, so it’s not as if a) they’re looking to sign expensive players b) expensive players would be interested in playing there.

    If Kearns bounces back, great signing–if he doesn’t, who cares.

  22. AkronHammer 5 years ago

    _-_ good signing_-_ a lot of upside, not that much downside_-_ release him, if he gets to be a pain_-_he is scary tho and intimitading_-_ should do well

  23. coolstorybro222 5 years ago

    Just when he thought he left Cincinatti, he just gets pulled back in.

  24. oscargamble 5 years ago

    He is flat out horrible and his swing reminds me of an old rusty gate. He will lead the league in shallow fly outs to RF as he did for many years in DC.

    • ltdibo020 5 years ago

      Oscar,
      I agree and this thing people keep saying he is a good fielder. I haven’t seen it. At least in DC, I thought balls that should be caught he never got to. Hes an awful player, slw, never gets to balls he should, ave arm, terrible bat. A poster above thought Shelley Duncan was a bad signing, I got news for you, Duncan is dangerous, especially if he gets hot, Kearns is useless. Just horrid in DC, I would sign a million other guys rather than him. Duncan I’d take a shot at, MVP in Int league this past year. He may just need a chance for some AB’s, Kearns has had a lot of chances and just don’t have it. Bad signing…also glad acta is in cleve and out of DC. Good riddins

  25. berndaddy 5 years ago

    Kearns should get one more chance. It’s good he’s with Manny. As a Nats fan (yea,I just admitted it!) He’s been a great club house guy. He works hard, but he need to know how to tell people when he’s hurt. I bet he hits for .250 with some power and a OBP of .310-.325 Cleveland is going to love this guys arm… Way to good Kearney!!!

  26. berndaddy 5 years ago

    Kearns should get one more chance. It’s good he’s with Manny. As a Nats fan (yea,I just admitted it!) He’s been a great club house guy. He works hard, but he need to know how to tell people when he’s hurt. I bet he hits for .250 with some power and a OBP of .310-.325 Cleveland is going to love this guys arm… Way to good Kearney!!!

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