And the new broom sweeps clean in Cincinnati, with plans to move Sir Strikes-Out-A-Lot. From the Sporting News’ Ken Rosenthal.
The Royals, Cardinals, Cubs and Nationals are among the teams that have had a long-standing interest in Austin Kearns (above). The Indians recently offered right-hander Jake Westbrook for Kearns, but former GM Dan O’Brien said no to the deal. Those talks could be revisited now that O’Brien is gone.
The Indians wanted Kearns to fill the outfield void that could be created by their trade of Coco Crisp to the Red Sox. But the Reds evidently weren’t sold on Westbrook, who was 15-15 with a 4.49 ERA last season after going 14-9 with a 3.38 ERA in 2004.
Under O’Brien, who was fired Monday, the Reds consistently sought a potential top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher for Kearns, a price that other clubs viewed as too steep.
The Royals, for example, were not willing to part with right-handed starter Zack Grienke for Kearns, but they probably would be willing to trade a reliever such as right-hander Mike MacDougal or left-hander Jeremy Affeldt.
If the Reds trade Kearns, they could make Ryan Freel an outfield regular or acquire a first baseman and move Adam Dunn back to left field. Scott Hatteberg, Matthew LeCroy and Russell Branyan are among the free-agent options at first.