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Austin Kearns agrees to minor-league contract with Marlins

Jan 25, 2012, 5:17 PM EDT


Austin Kearns has bounced around a lot, playing for four teams in the past three seasons, and the 32-year-old outfielder will now try to win a spot on the Marlins’ bench after agreeing to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Kearns briefly looked like a future star in 2002 and 2003, but injuries sidetracked his development and he eventually settled in as merely a solid role player.

He’s a good defensive corner outfielder who can play center field in an emergency, but Kearns has cracked a .700 OPS just once in the past four seasons. He may end up battling fellow veteran minor-league signing Aaron Rowand for a backup outfielder gig.

  1. pisano - Jan 25, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    This guy can’t hit his ass with both hands, the Yankees had him two years ago and all he did was strike out.

  2. jwbiii - Jan 25, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Remember when Kearns was considered a better prospect than Adam Dunn? He was a better hitter last season than Dunn, which isn’t saying much and didn’t prevent him from being released.

    • 78mu - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:34 AM

      And Pena came up at the same time and looked like he was going to at least slug the ball while trying to keep his fielding % above his batting average. But Kearns best year was his rookie season while Dunn became an on base machine while consistently hitting around 40 Hrs. Of course Pena never did figure out how to anything but occasionally hit a long HR.

      Dunn was so consistent until they took his fielding gloves away from him. As much of a butcher he was on the field he more than compensated with his bat. The WS should figure out a way to get him some time at 1b and see if that gets his bat going. He’s only 31 and can’t fall off so quickly unless his name is Joe Boyd and Applegate figured out a way to testify.

      • jwbiii - Jan 26, 2012 at 12:31 PM

        Then, with a defensively challenged outfield of Dunn, an aging Griffey, and Kearns, in a home run friendly ballpark, the GM (was it O’Brien or Krivsky?) decided he wanted to collect flyball pitchers. This did not work out well.

  3. pisano - Jan 25, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    jwblll….Good point, I do remember when he looked like he was going to be special, but somewhere along the line he took a crap. He was just awful with the Yankees and I don’t think he’s doing a whole lot better now. It’s hard to figure what happened to him.

  4. jwbiii - Jan 25, 2012 at 8:47 PM


    8/14/2003 Right shoulder labrum and AC joint surgery
    4/2/2004 Right thumb bone spur surgery
    5/23/2008 Right elbow loose body (ever wonder just what that means?*) surgery
    8/7/2009 Right thumb debridement surgery

    *I do have an idea. I had knee bone spurs and my surgeon also took out some unidentifiable soft tissue. He said he’d figure out what it was and get back to me. This was in 1977. I’m no longer waiting by the phone.

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