Austin Kearns Signs New Deal
Austin Kearns signed a new deal with the Washington Nations - avoiding arbitration in the process. Kearns is now signed for the next three years for a total of $16.5 million with a $10 million option for 2010 (or a $1 million buy-out). Couple of random thoughts about this signing:
- Kearns will make as much this year ($3.5 million) as he has made in his entire professional career to this point ($3.5 million in earnings since 2003).
- Kearns will actually make less this year than what the club was offering in arbitration (the Nationals offered $3.65 million while Kearns had asked for $4.25 million). I just find the fact that he signed a deal for less than the club's arbitration amount for this year strange.
- Kearns is a walking statistical anomaly. He hits for power and should average at least 25 HR per year but he also strikes out about once every four at bats. He has a very good OBP (.361 career) but his batting average is Rob Deeresque (.265 career).
- Kearns is a very similar hitter to Wily Mo Pena who appears headed to arbitration. Pena is asking for $2.2 million and the Red Sox are offering $1.7 million - so I think based upon what Kearns got that the Sox should just pay Wily Mo the $2.2 million and avoid the ugliness of arbitration.