Jul
30

Yankees acquire Austin Kearns

By

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

The Yankees have acquired Austin Kearns from the Indians for a player to be named later or cash, so says Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman. The identity of the PTBNL is “still undetermined” according to Bob Klapisch. Buster Olney says the Yanks are already hard at work on their next deal, presumably for a utility infielder but don’t rule out bullpen help.

Kearns started in leftfield for the Indians on Friday night, but was lifted for a pinch-runner after singling in the 7th inning. After a big time start (.313/.388/.494 through June 7th), the 30-year-old has cooled off considerably over the last several weeks (.212/.305/.311 since). The Yanks were reportedly looking for an outfield bat that can hit lefties, and Kearns fits the bill (.353 wOBA vs. LHP career, .339 vs. RHP). It’s also worth noting that he’s a stud defensively in rightfield with three-year UZR of +11.4, but he’s a bit below average in left (-2.1) and hasn’t played much center in recent years.

There’s only $278,000 left on his contract this season, and he isn’t close to being any kind of compensation free agent once the winter rolls around. I don’t expect much, but he’s an upgrade over Colin Curtis.

  • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

    Well that kind of came out of no where.

  • Kevin in Delectable Princeton

    I assume he’ll replace Curtis?

  • Pat D

    Not entirely sure why they’d do this?

    • http://fmylife.com Bryan

      For the bench. Right now its: Pena, Curtis, Miranda… Adding Kearns for a PTBNL is a solid move. Very Eric Hinske like.

      • Pat D

        I don’t know, I guess he seems to be Thames just with the ability to play the outfield. But, yea, I supposed that’s an upgrade over Curtis.

  • Steve H

    Kearns>>>Curtis and should help against LHP. Just hope the cost wasn’t much.

    • Joe

      HE has better splits against righties so that isn’t why he was acquired.

      • http://www.mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        Better against LHP for his career and will be taking Curtis’ spot.

  • Dave

    Ahh why? bench help? I dont know if I think that is an upgrade.

  • http://fmylife.com Bryan

    Wheelin’ and Dealing’. I’m loving this.

  • The Fallen Phoenix

    I heard the Yankees were on the verge of acquiring Austin Kearns. But I also heard that the Yankees might not be on the verge of acquiring Austin Kearns.

  • ShuutoHeat (GGBG > Crawford)

    Wow…ninja’d.

  • Slappy White

    Now thats just piling on…../Kay’d

  • JoeC

    Makes a ton of sense. Him and granderson make a pretty nice defacto platoon. Sorta surprised Mark Melancon is now a “non prospect” as well

    • JoeC

      actually he has been pretty terrible this year

    • Dave

      Count me in as surprised about that as well. Makes me a little nervous about who they are giving up for Kearns.

    • B-Rando

      I’m surprised Melancon is a “non prospect”, but I’m really not going to be devastated by losing him. We’re getting Lance Freakin’ Berkman to DH for the New York Yankees. We gave up a guy whos been up to the majors a couple times with very limited success and who has struggled greatly as of late in AAA and another kid who is in Low A.

      I like the Kearns move. I would certainly say he is an upgrade over the rest of the bench outside of Thames. The more depth the better. Look at what Hairston and Hinske did for us last year. We need some productive depth.

  • FIPster Doofus

    Kind of odd. He’ll have a hard time getting at bats with Berkman and Thames at DH and the outfield set, no?

  • http://janeheller.mlblogs.com/yank_c.jpg T-Dubs

    They’re flipping him for Adam Dunn and Edwin Jackson.

  • Brooklyn Ed

    Cody Ross would had been better.

    damn you Cashman for being stealth. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/j_yankees2213 j_Yankees

    Bye Colin Curtis.

  • Pete

    First Lance Berkman, and now Ryan Church Austin Kearns? This day came out of nowhere

  • phughesisgod

    I like it, although, I am not that big of a fan of sending Curtis back down to Scranton. I also am happy that the Yankees were able to send Melancon and Paredes to Houston. Not really giving up alot and getting a good bat in return.

    Hopefully we are not done yet and are able to get another reliever. Maybe flipping Kearns for an arm? Or will all the relievers available require prospects?

  • forensicnucchem

    Not really sure I get the point of this. He’s hitting righties better than lefties this year. I also kind of hope they DFA Thames rather than sending Curtis down. If Curtis is gone, then they have ZERO defensive skill ready if they needed someone in the OF.

    • Joe

      Kearns is not horrible in the outfield

    • Chip

      Go look at Thames’ line this year vs Curtis’, there is no way you send Thames down in order to keep Curtis

      • forensicnucchem

        I didn’t say anything about the offense. I was talking about the defense. And his 1 UZR in 14 games in RF isn’t exactly impressive to me, not to mention he can’t always play RF, he’ll have to fill in LF every so often. Or would you prefer Thames there instead?

      • forensicnucchem

        And regarding the offensive numbers, look below after looking a little closer.

    • JLew

      Check out his UZR.

    • http://canyonofheroes.wordpress.com/ matt montero

      Thames probably has a little trade value for something like a low grade prospect or bleh reliever, he is a fien bat off the bench

    • FIPster Doofus

      Why DFA Thames? He was brought in to mash lefties and he’s done exactly that.

      • forensicnucchem

        Eh, his BA and OBP are buoyed by a flukey hot start, his numbers against lefties include a .400 BABIP, which is pretty certainly to drop, and despite all that he has a grand total of one homerun against lefties all year.

        And it’s not even an argument that there’s zero value in him beyond that.

  • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

    Love it.

  • JoeC

    Is a back up 3rd baseman next? Mike Lowell for Tony Armas Jr?

    • Chip

      Dude, we have a backup third baseman, his name is Marcus Thames. When he enters the game, we’re going to simply place third base about 30 ft further from first

      • JoeC

        good point

      • Poopy Pants

        Hard to argue with that.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        IETCVM.

      • Zack

        I can’t get enough of that replay. Once the ball was hit to him, I think everyone knew that sucker was ending up in the stands.

        • Poopy Pants

          Tosh should let Thames do a web redemption.

          • Cecala

            It worked for the worst stand up comic ever.

  • http://Twitter.com/marcos_aguirre Marcos

    Meh player, solid depth move. Now, time to get some BULLPEN help there Cash! I really think Downs would be a great addition but he seems too expensive.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      If he doesn’t we’re blaming the damn Twins for what they gave up for Matt Capps. Ugh.

      • http://twitter.com/marcos_aguirre Marcos

        I know! What idiots!

  • rek4gehrig

    Hmmm…..not sure about this one but I he did peak my interest during series in Cleveland.

    • nsalem

      piqued

  • Cy Farnsworth

    Here’s the question: are we certain that Kearns is actually a better hitter than Curtis at this point in his career?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Uh, yes. Curtis has never really hit at any level, why would he start now?

  • JoeC

    almost surprised Kerry Wood wasn’t involved. probably for the best.

  • Poopy Pants

    “Kearns earns a home run!!! ohhh!!!”

    “Austin hit an AWESOME home run!!”

    “Kearns burns one!”

    • Simon

      “It is high….It is far…..It is….GONE!”

      “Kearns makes it burn”

    • umbrellaman

      Austin POWERS one over the wall! Yeah, baby!

  • nathan

    Does this affect the Berkman deal or is that official or are they mutually independent deals?

  • Pat D

    New Olney tweet:
    Heard this: With two trades in the books today, the Yankees are working on another — presumably somebody who can play 3B.

    Now aren’t we getting greedy, or just over-inflating the roster?

    • Poopy Pants

      They’ve only really spent $3 million and Melancon so far.

      • Pat D

        But the roster is getting bloated now. Why do we need someone to play 3B? Sounds like we’re getting like it was in 2000 when all of a sudden David Justice, Glenallen Hill, Luis Polonia and Jose Canseco all showed up.

        Not to mention Luis Sojo.

        • Poopy Pants

          I assure you the roster will have the same # of players as before.

          Berkman > Juan Miranda
          Kearns>Colin Curtis

          • Pat D

            And so if Player X>Pena, then it’s worth it? Yea, I guess that would work.

            • Poopy Pants

              I guess. I’m certainly no expert. Whatever everyone else says.

        • nsalem

          Who doesn’t belong in this group
          a David Justice b Glenallen Hill c Luis Polonia
          d Jose Canseco

          I think that was on the LSATs

          • Pat D

            Well, Polonia is the one most unlike the others.

            Or were you saying Jose for the ‘roids?

            • Evan3457

              Justics is connected with ‘roids via Mitchell report. So it’s not that.

              • Poopy Pants

                Same with Glenallen.
                I guess Sojo wins for NOT cheating?

                • Poopy Pants

                  Polonia. I get all those people mixed up.

            • Ed

              If you’re thinking steroids, isn’t Polonia still the answer? I think he was the only one of that group never tied to them.

              • nsalem

                You are correct Ed. Polonia was never accused of
                steroid use (like the others), but he was convicted for statutory rape.

    • phughesisgod

      We need an infielder who can hit, not just play defense. Thats why we inquired about the availability of Jerry Hairston Jr.

      • dc1874

        melvin mora up next.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Doesn’t he have a wOBA under .300? That’s the exact opposite of someone who can hit.

    • forensicnucchem

      As long as Pena goes bye-bye, it’s not over-inflating the roster. It doesn’t take much to improve on his value.

      • CapitalT

        still need somebody to fill in at SS to give Jeter some rest

        • forensicnucchem

          I would assume if they pick up a utility guy it would be someone who could play all three infield spots. As long as that’s true, it’s easy to beat Pena.

  • JoeC

    Kearns baby Kearns!

    /john sterling

  • phughesisgod

    Hopefully the Yankees are working on 2 or 3 more trades. 1 for a utility infielder. Another for a reliever or 2. And the third to get rid of Chan Ho Park.

    • larryf

      before they rename YS for him?

  • Zack

    First he bring Berkman from a last place team to the best team in baseball, then he does the same for Kearns.

    Cash is in saving lost souls one at a time.

  • JoeC

    ptbnl most be a recent(signed)draft pick, no?

    • j

      could be a list of players and the indians are waiting to see how they perform/more scouting

      • JoeC

        or injured maybe

    • Ed

      Could be a guy from a list they pick from at a later date. Or they could give cash instead of a player.

    • forensicnucchem

      For what it’s worth (not much), but the guy on the BP show yesterday said anytime he hears PTBNL this year he’ll be thinking about Stoneburner.

  • forensicnucchem

    It’s kind of funny, somebody asked Mike during the chat today if the Yanks were going to get a Candy Maldonado-type player.

    Look at Kearns’ BR page and his most similar comparison through age 29 is… Candy Maldonado.

    • Pat D

      I don’t remember for sure, but wasn’t that asked a week or two ago in a chat?

      • forensicnucchem

        Oh, was it last weeks? I read two of the recaps today so it could have been last weeks.

        If so, my bad… Still kind of fits though.

        • Pat D

          I didn’t catch all of today’s, so who knows?

          • forensicnucchem

            Well, here is one from today:

            1:53 [Comment From joe z "pittsfeild MA"joe z "pittsfeild MA": ]
            what about Austin Kearns, the indians must be shopping him, right? Maybe, a Pat Venditte and Dan Brewer or something?

            Friday July 30, 2010 1:53 joe z “pittsfeild MA”
            1:54 I’m sure they are, but he stinks. .212/.305/.311 since early June.

            • forensicnucchem

              Yeah, the one I was thinking of was last week:

              2:46 [Comment From CJCJ: ]
              Do you see the Yankees pursuing a Candy Maldonado-type player before the deadline?

              Friday July 23, 2010 2:46 CJ
              2:46 What’s a Candy Maldonado?

  • Poopy Pants

    “Kearns learns how to stop worrying and love the A Bomb!”

  • All-Star Carl

    Joe G looks sad lol

  • Pat D

    Now, according to ESPN, it could be a PTBNL or cash.

  • bonestock94

    Awesome, gotta love depth that hits for power and can field.

  • John Marro

    Should have kept Damon & Matsui

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      What are you talking about?

    • Meat Loaf

      Just my opinion, but the next person to pull the Matsui/Damon card without providing an argument thereof should be heckled ruthlessly… or at least not be allowed to post crap like this.

  • MattG

    No chance Cashman’s done. I expect Qualls to be here soon…not sure whom the infielder will be. I had thought Peralta had a good chance, but that didn’t work out.

    There is nothing at all in Qualls’ peripherals to give one pause, and it does enough to explain the ERA. With that salary and those results, Arizona must absurdly motivated to move him.

    • larryf

      Peralta is doing just fine for us already!

  • Crack Ho Phan

    I see Eric Wordekemper or Lassiter (wishing) packing their bags for Midge-City