The Miami Marlins are nearly done going after pricey free agents this offseason -- Cuban prospect Yoenis Cespedes is their final target -- but they still have work to do in fleshing out their roster. Star players are an important step toward building a playoff-caliber team, but sometimes the difference between playing in October or hitting the golf course comes down to depth.
To that end, the Marlins signed Austin Kearns to a minor-league deal last night, providing them with some organizational depth in case of injuries. Kearns is a 31-year-old outfielder, and his recent history suggests he shouldn't be more than a backup, backup option for the Marlins. He is a mediocre-to-poor defensive outfielder, and at the plate, he strikes out too often considering he no longer has a powerful bat.
Kearns does have some potential, though. He was a decent offensive player (.746 OPS) for the Indians and Yankees back in 2010, so he could turn into a good bench player for the Marlins. It's no guarantee Kearns produces at that level, but considering the Marlins are signing him to a cheap minor-league deal, there is little to no risk involved.
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