Indians Bring Back Austin Kearns
Kearns, 30, returns to the Indians where he spent the first four months of the 2010 season before being traded to the New York Yankees on July 30th in exchange for right-handed pitcher Zach McAllister. While with the Indians he batted .272 (82-301) with 42 runs scored, 18 doubles, a triple, 8 home runs and 42RBI in 84 games, making 63 starts in left field, 12 in right field and 4 in centerfield after making the club out of spring training as a non-roster invitee. He began the season starting mainly against left-handed pitching and earned full-time left field duties later in April. He hit .373 (19-51) with 7 doubles, 2HR & 11 RBI in 14 April games and overall with Cleveland he hit .301 (25-83) with RISP and .356 (16-45) with RISP-2outs.
Following the trade to New York, Kearns appeared in 36 games with the Yankees batting .235 (24-102) with 13 runs scored, 3 doubles, 2 home runs and 7 RBI and was on both their ALDS and ALCS playoff roster. Combined on the year he hit .263 (106-403) with 21 doubles, 10HR & 49RBI in 120 games (.351OB/.395SLG/.746OPS).
Since this is a major league contract he will have to be added to the 40-man roster. Who the Indians will remove from the 40-man is not known at this time, but they are expected to designate outfielder Shelley Duncan for assignment.