The Reds are going for broke. Earlier in the week they traded for “Everyday” Eddie Guardado, to compete for the team’s closer’s job. Today they traded for more relief help, acquiring Gary Majewski and Bill Bray. In exchange, they gave up big-swingin’ Austin Kearns.
Kearns, along with Felipe Lopez, is headed to the Washington Nationals, a team assembled by former Reds GM Jim Bowden. Kearns was considered the future of a young Reds team when Bowden was in charge in Cincinnati. Bray was considered one of the Nationals’ top pitching prospects. Now they’re both changing teams.
The Reds also acquired shortstop Royce Clayton, infielder Brendan Harris and pitcher Daryl Thompson from the last-place Nationals.
Is Kearns the kind of guy a team can build around? Is he even the kind of guy a team can win with? He swings a big stick and is on pace for 30 homers and 100 RBIs this season. But he strikes out a ton, too. He’s on pace for 170 Ks this season. He strikes out 30.5 percent of the time. That’s a ton. Can a team win with a guy who wiffs that much? And who has such limited range in the outfield?
And do the Reds really have enough pieces to win the NL Central? They’ve been so bad for so long. And they’re starting pitching…I mean, it’s been good, but…really? Bronson Arroyo? Eric Milton? In the Great American Ballpark? Can they really keep it up?