Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Kearns, Davis sign 1-year deals

By Gary Estwick
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Reds signed two players Tuesday they hope will contribute to the team in the future.

        Pitcher Lance Davis and outfielder Austin Kearns, both non-arbitration eligible players, agreed to one-year contracts for the 2002 season. Terms were undisclosed.

        Davis, who split time last season between Triple-A Louisville and the Reds, is expected to make the Reds' pitching staff with a strong showing in spring training.

        Davis, 25, went 7-2 with a 3.05 ERA and one complete game in 13 starts at Louisville last season and 8-4 with a 4.74 ERA and one complete game in 20 starts for the Reds.

        Kearns, one of the most celebrated minor-league players in the Reds system, will face an uphill fight to reach the majors this season.

        “Austin is a bit of a long shot,” said Reds assistant general manager Doc Rogers. “But so was Adam Dunn last year.”

        Kearns, a 21-year old Lexington native, hit .268 last season with six home runs, 36 RBI and seven stolen bases in 59 games at Double-A Chattanooga. He missed most of the season following surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb.

        Kearns was named the organization's top prospect this season by Baseball America for the second consecutive year.


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