Tuesday, December 18, 2007

To Austin or Bust

In a now barren free agent outfield market that finds names like Shannon Stewart, Barry Bonds and, well, Geoff Jenkins its top hole-fillers, it becomes more evident than ever that, should the Brewers enlist the services of a new corner outfielder or (in case of a Braun infield exile) third baseman, he will come via a trade.

Baseball message boards, trade rumor mills and this blog have been a buzz with potential names suggested to heal what ailes Milwaukee. From outfielders like Teahen and DeJesus to third basemen like Rolen and Blalock, a lot has been proposed with no progress made. But I, a bonified baseball guru... or something, have given this matter much thought and each time am left with one name; Austin Kearns.

Not only does a Kearns aquisition make sense by way of his defensive prowess, his respectable power and low (less than 4MM) salary, the needs of the teams involved, too, indicate this would be a wise transaction. The Nats need pitching. Sure, they have seven options for starters, but only John Patterson has done anything in the bigs, and even that wasn't much. Plus, reports of them looking at Benson tell of a team in need of quality starters. As we all know, pitching is the one thing the crew finds itself with a definiate surplus of.

The Nats also have an abundance of outfielders. Kearns is slated to be the Opening Day rightfielder, but they just aquired Elijah Dukes and seem intent on him turning his career/life around in Capital city. The club, too, resigned a finally healthy Willy Mo Pena for another two years, traded for unquestioned CF starter Lastings Milledge, resigned Ryan Langerhans PLUS renissanced 1B/OF Dimitri Young might find himself forced to a corner OF spot with the return of Nick Johnson.

This deal makes so much sense to me. I think Kearns would like to play for a pennant without looking over his shoulder, and I have to imagine with Melvin has at least considered this. Capuano or Bush paired with a backup catcher or low-level prospect should do the job. In an offseason wrought with so many names with either so much salary/prior injury or so little upside. I think Austin Kearns is the perfect solution to a sizable hole in an otherwise solid club.

Am I crazy to be drinking so much of this deal's Kool Aid?

Posted by Tyler


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