In a pretty surprising move (at least to me), the Cincinnati Reds have demoted outfielder Austin Kearns to AAA.
Kearns burst on the scene in 2002 with an extremely impressive rookie campaign, posting a 907 OPS at age 22, and was expected to combine with Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey, Jr., to give the Reds an explosive middle of the lineup presence.
But since then, Kearns has struggled to stay healthy, and when he's been on the field has performed poorly the last two years.
It seems like Kearns has been around forever, but he just turned 25...he's just six months older than Laynce Nix, for example, and just two months older than Anaheim rookie Dallas McPherson. He's struggled, but he's still got time to rebound.
And he's a righthanded bat, something the Rangers need...I'm sure that the demotion will lead to a lot of teams sniffing around the Reds, seeing if they can pick him up for cheap. But seeing as how Reds G.M. Dan O'Brien is a refugee from the Rangers organization, the Rangers might have a leg up on other teams in trying to make a deal, since O'Brien should be a little more familiar with some of the guys in the Rangers' organization.
I don't know what the price would be, or even if the Reds would be interested in dealing him...but Kearns is someone I think would be worth taking a chance on, putting him in AAA and letting him work on getting his stroke back. If he can get it going again, he'd be a perfect fit for the righty bat that the Rangers need in the lineup.