February 20, 2006

Kearns for Westbrook: Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One

I thought all that talk of the Reds trading right fielder Austin Kearns to Cleveland for 28-year old right handed starting pitcher Jake Westbrook had fizzled out by now, but accorrding to a story on Cleveland.com that is dated yesterday:

Pitcher Jake Westbrook shrugged off recent speculation he'd be traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Austin Kearns. “I've been traded three times before,” Westbrook said, “so I didn't give it much thought.

“I'm not really used to hearing my name in trade talks, but it's all part of the game.”

Unhappy as I am to say it, this could make some sense for the Reds. Westbrook would certainly be an upgrade for our rotation, and losing Kearns' production wouldn't kill the offense. Plus, you'd be sending a local guy to a team that's still fairly close to home, though not as close as Sean Casey ended up being.

I do wonder about the money involved. Westbrook is owed $4.25 million next season, a far cry from the $1.85 million Kearns is due.

Furthermore, I'm fairly horrified to think that this would mean an outfield with Adam Dunn AND Wily Mo Peña. The fans at Great American Ball Park would have to adopt “He'll get it back in the bottom of the inning!” as their battle cry any time the opposing team smacked something into the corners.

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