And you thought they Indians weren’t going to make a free agent splash. They just did: Austin Kearns:
Meet the new Indians right-handed hitting outfielder, same as the Indians old right-handed hitting outfielder. Austin Kearns is back. Kearns, who won a job with the Indians last spring training, has agreed to a one-year deal with the Tribe today. It’s the first free agent the Indians have signed to a big-league deal this winter.
Well, “splash” may be relative here. The Indians have their hands full bringing back their beer vendors on the payroll and fans next season, so bringing back any free agent was somewhat unexpected.
That said, Kearns is a useful player. He hit .263/.351/.395 in 461 plate appearances for the Indians and Yankees in 2010 and has always hit lefties pretty darn well. He’s also an excellent outfielder. There were certainly teams who would have been interested in him had the Tribe not enticed him to come back.