Over at River Ave. Blues, contributor Steve H wonders if the Yankees will retain Austin Kearns in 2011. Has Kearns, he asked, done enough to warrant a large raise or a chance to hook on somewhere as a starter? If the answer to one of those questions is "yes" (particularly the first question), then the odds of him playing elsewhere next season increase.
The slugger has certainly impressed so far in New York, hitting .351/.415/.514 with 1 home run in 13 games. When combined with his time in Cleveland, his slash line reads .281/.360/.429 with nine homers in 97 games. Those numbers aren't too shabby for a guy making $750K this season. In fact, using his Wins Above Replacement metric, Fangraphs estimates that he would make $6.2MM in free agency with his play this year. No one would make the case for Kearns to command that kind of money on the open market this year, but the point remains that he has produced more than your average sub-$1MM player.
So, the question is..
Will Austin Kearns re-sign with the Yankees or go elsewhere?