(Guest appearance by Alex Novick)
The Yankees, apparently not fully satiated from nabbing Lance Berkman, plucked Austin Kearns from the Indians late Friday night in exchange for a player to be named later.
Kearns was offering some moderate AL-only value playing every day in left field for the Tribe, posting a .272-8-42 line in 301 at-bats. He went out in style on Friday, going 2-for-3 with a double before getting pulled in the seventh inning from what could be his last start for a while.
The 30-year-old journeyman will be limited to a bench role in the Bronx, sending any potential fantasy value out the window. Logic would dictate the Yanks acquired Kearns, a right-handed hitter, to occasionally spell Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner against southpaws, however Kearns is batting just .250 against lefty hurlers this season. Can someone say higher-than-usual-profile pinch-hitter?
AL-Only: Maybe the only fantasy-relevant aspect to this trade would be if the Indians promote Michael Brantley to fill the void in left field. The 23-year-old has struggled severely over 26 games with Cleveland in 2010, compiling a scary .157 average resulting in two separate demotions to the Minors. Brantley has talent, however, evidenced by a .315 clip and 13 steals in 62 Triple-A games this year. He notched three multi-hit efforts over a four-game stretch the week before getting sent down on July 27, possibly a sign of getting accustomed to big league pitching.
Keep an eye on Brantley in AL-only formats if he gets the call, which is more than one can say about the always exciting PTBNL.