By Matt Snyder
Tuesday brought us the Prince Fielder signing and -- to an obviously much lesser extent -- Francisco Cordero signing. Wednesday? How about Austin Kearns? Yeah, that's all we've got to pass along in terms of free agents signing on this day. But it is a transaction nonetheless, as the Miami Marlins have signed Kearns to a minor-league contract, which includes an invitation to spring training, the club announced Wednesday afternoon.
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Kearns was a first-round pick of the Reds back in 1998 and was then considered one of baseball's top prospects back in 2001 and 2002. Things haven't quite gone as expected, however, as Kearns will now be joining his fifth franchise. He hit .200/.302/.287 with two homers and seven RBI in just 174 plate appearances last season for the Indians. He's still not old, at age 31, so there's hope of getting him back to a 2007-type level, when Kearns was a full-time player for the Nationals and hit .266/.355/.411 with 16 homers and 35 doubles.
If Kearns does make the team, don't expect him to be a starter. Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton are firmly entrenched as the Marlins' corner outfielders. This was a depth signing.
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