As noted in the comments below, Austin Kearns has requested a trade. What is also interesting is that Dan O’Brien evidently lied to Kearns’ face, in true Bowdenesque fashion:

When he was sent down before the June 13-15 Boston series, Kearns asked about a trade and was told by general manager Dan O’Brien that there was no interest in him.

“I called him on that because I’ve heard there is,” said Kearns. “When Washington was in town, (Nationals general manager) Jim Bowden told both Adam Dunn and me he continues to try to make trades for us.”

Bowden, though, has said that his phone calls to the Reds are not returned and his e-mails to the Reds are not answered.

The Chicago Cubs have interest in Kearns and when the Atlanta Braves were in town manager Bobby Cox pointedly asked, “What’s going on with Kearns and why is in Louisville? I sure like that kid.”

Kearns is hitting .346 with five doubles in 26 at-bats in Louisville.

Dan O’Brien should join Miley in the unemployment line.

About The Author

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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34 Responses

  1. Chris

    I was just logging in to post this story, and had the same reaction. You, me, and Kearns all know that O’Brien was lying to his face. Why in the world would he do that? And its not even a nice lie – “nobody wants you, Austin.”

    What possible good does that do anyone?

  2. Steve Bittenbender

    O’Brien may be an idiot, but he’d be even dumber to trade Kearns to a team in the NL Central. Unless the Cubs are willing to part with someone like Zambrano (highly doubtful), you don’t do that trade.

  3. Glenn

    Remember that this conversation is being related to us by Kearns. Kearns is mad right now. I’d like to hear from OB. What’s his side of this? I’m having problems believing that the conversation went down the way Kearns said it did. The reason I say this is, Why would you say there is no interest in a trade for Kearns when it is so proveable that there is interest out there for him? Why tell such an obvious, proveable lie? I’m holding fire on this until I hear OB’s side. However, having said all that, this is the type of story/rumour that if left unadressed will fracture an organization. OB needs to jump on this fast. If he sits by with a no comment approach, this will only get worse. He needs to address this head on.

  4. Chris W

    That’s an obvious lie. No interest? Come on DanO. At least humor us by telling Kearns you’re afraid of being ripped off and that Austin will tear us up later on if he trades him.

  5. Chris

    I too would like to hear O’Brien’s part of it – but what if Kearns IS lying? What can O’Brien do? Get into a war of words with a player? Then you have to trade him, but his value is diminished.

    At this point, I have no real reason to doubt Kearns’ version. Note also that Bowden confirms that the Reds aren’t returning his calls or emails?? If this is all true, O’Brien should probably go now. I was inclined to give him the rest of the year to see how his “plan” works out, but such a feeble, pointless, and counter-productive lie makes me think the guy is off his nut. All he had to do was say, “sorry Austin, I don’t think we could get real value for you at this point.” Hell, I’d have been perfectly fine with a simple “No. I’m the GM and I don’t want to trade you. Now go play baseball.”

  6. Blue

    I don’t really understand why Kearns is demanding a trade. I think what he really wants is to be in the lineup everyday. Check his comments when he first left for AAA. That’s what it sounded like to me.

    But here is another thing: Is it really appropriate for Jim Bowden to tell Reds players that he’s trying to make a move for them? I don’t know if that is common or not, but it doesn’t seem right. Come to think of it, it sounds like something Bowden may say because he is trying to schmooze Dunn and Kearns.

  7. Glenn

    I get really suspicious when you throw Bowden into the mix. That guy just likes to throw things into flux and chaos. I seem to remember him telling a few whoppers while he was with the Reds. I don’t trust that guy in the least. If Bowden told me 1,500 people died on the Titanic, I’d ask for names and addresses.

  8. Blue

    Folks, its time for Phil Dumatrait to be promoted to AAA. His ERA is down to 2.55 and he just went 8.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K.

    His numbers on the season are: 11 GS, 67 IP, 59 H, 19 ER, 29 BB, 51 K… and here is the Great American Ball Park kicker… 2 HR.

    Walks are still a minor problem, but given how he keeps the ball in the yard, I’d say there is no reason he can’t work through that and improve at higher levels.

  9. Steve Bittenbender

    I agree that O’Brien should be ousted, but it appears that Lindner and Allen have given their support for now to O’Brien. Plus, unless you can name a permanent GM at the time of dismissal, it’s foolish to make the move now. Get through the season, and then make a decision on O’Brien’s future with the club.

  10. Chris

    Very interesting – McCoy’s updated the story. He says sources have seen an “Encarnacion” jersey around the clubhouse this week, and suspects that Encar, not Kearns, will be called up.

  11. Chris

    Blue, I had the same thoughts. Bowden might not be guilty of tampering, but it didn’t sound kosher.

    But as for Dumatrait, there’s no room – Milty has to keep going out every fifth day.

  12. Bill

    I’m also trying to see how the Reds “wronged” Kearns in this instance. He was given the chance to perform when Pena got hurt…he didn’t get it done. It seems to me that the Reds did the right thing by sending him to AAA to try to get himself straightened out, even if they were risking alienating some in the clubhouse. His value was at a low point, he goes to AAA and hits, his value recovers.

    That’s not to say it was handled well. Nothing that has been done during the O’Brien era seems to have been done well, communications-wise.

  13. Tyler

    He was given a chance, and he didn’t play well. But, he still wansn’t playing everyday. From day to day he didn’t know if the Bad Man was going to effectively replace him, or Cruz. He was still only playing 3-4 times a week. He should have been played everyday, then there would be no excuses.

    By the way, he hit his first HR in AAA last night. He’s hitting .389. He’s not going to be challenged there and needs play EVERYDAY.

    Trade Casey move Dunn to first. I can’t say this enough!

  14. Glenn

    Kearns has not been Kearns for sometime now. Damm that Ray King. I’m with Tyler, I don’t see how Kearns can hold the Reds responsible for his poor performance. He needs to get himself straight in Louisville, clear his head, reload and start again when the call up comes.

  15. Tyler

    Another thing I can’t stress enough:

    I hate Ray King:evil:

  16. tom

    Too much talk about getting rid of Kearns and/or Dunn. Of course the Braves, Cubs, Yankees, etc. are dying to get those guys.That would be a move similar to trading Paul O’Neil and Frank Robinson. Just trade Casey for what ever pitching you can get, put Dunn on first, and you’re left with an outfield of Kearns, Griffey and Pena. That would end the outfield ‘logjam.’

  17. Michael

    yes, but if you trade dunn, you end the logjam and you immediately get better defensively, team strikeouts, team situational/RIPS hitting, lose the fraternity/free spirit ring leader – to win this team will need more grittiness and hard-nosed play then it needs Jim Rome/Best Damn Sports Show Hype…..

  18. Brian Erts

    get better defensively, team strikeouts, team situational/RIPS hitting,

    A “slight” gain in defense to defeat to things that make Michael feel better about a player.

    I’ll pass… gawd jettison Casey before Dunn.

    That’s a no brainer

  19. Brian Erts

    BTW if Dunn is so bad at these things, then WMP must be the worst player of all time.

    He has no SAC Flies in his career has these numbers in RISP for his career

    .245/.318/.453/.771

    Strikes out every 3 at bats AND makes Dunn look like a great fielder.

    Yet no mention of this?

  20. Glenn

    I’m telling you guys. I’m not in favor of trading any of our position players, including Casey or Kearns. I know the team needs pitching. Normally, you trade a quality position player, you get a quality pitcher in return. When was the last time any of you saw the Reds get their money’s worth when it comes to pitching? The Reds’ management team couldn’t spot a decent pitcher if they tripped over him.
    This is what I forsee happening. Just as Dunn said, the Reds trade Kearns, he hits .315 and drives in 100 runs. The Reds will get a pitcher in return that will end up being an embarrassment…ie Milton or someone Dr K has to sharpen his scalpel on.
    Yes we desparately need pitching but until we find scouts, GM’s, pitching coaches and managers in this organization who know what to look for, its all going to be an exersise in futility.

  21. Joel

    I would say that the Reds got good value in the Harang for Guillen deal. Guillen’s numbers may be collectively better, but given the clogged outfield and lack of pitching, I’d say it has worked out in the Reds favor.

    That’s one out of how many though?

  22. Michael

    WMP is rough/raw and very painful to watch at times however this isn’t WMP’s fifth year of everyday playing time and WMP won’t cost close to 10 million next year.

    I’d much rather save some $$$ with WMP (and spend it on pitching) and live with his struggles until he has more opportunity to show what kind of player he will become.

  23. Glenn

    Joel,
    I think Harang could be a #3 or #4 starter on a GOOD team. With the Reds, he’s the best they have to offer. Your point is well taken. Guillen wasn’t going to stay with the Reds. His head got too big and he knew he was going to make a ton more money with another team. Getting Harang was a good deal for the Reds when you consider that had they held on to Guillen for the rest of the year they would have gotten nothing in return for him. As I think on it Boone for Claussen may work out in time. Even so I don’t hear of too many teams offering the Reds anything in the way of trades for Harang or Claussen’s services.

  24. Greg

    Boy oh boy, I hope that the Reds can at least get the next Jung Bong for Adam Dunn. Sheesh. The good teams are contacting the Reds about the good players. Actually, they are looking to fleece the Reds by giving up a quantity of mediocre prospects hoping that if they throw enough chumps names into a hat, the Reds will part with Dunn.

  25. Brian Erts

    WMP has played 1 less year than Dunn, has 1000 less ab’s as a professional, has never hit above .270 and can’t take a walk to save his life.

    Plus his RISP numbers suck…. and he K’s (and always has) just as much as Dunn.

    You get what you pay for.. Dunn is too expensive but a Casey over 30 and GIDP after GIDP and no power isn’t.

  26. Greg

    Let’s trade Casey and Harang to Dodgers:
    “Hee Seop Choi is out of the lineup versus a right-hander for the second time in three days. We thought seven homers in four days gave Choi a little more margin for error, but it seems it didn’t. An 0-for-16 slump — coming during a stretch when practically no one else on the Dodgers is hitting — is all it’s taken to make Jim Tracy sour on him again.”

  27. Greg

    I think the Dodgers are unhappy with their 3rd base situation, too.

  28. Chris

    They are. Though I’m not sure they’re going to be buyers. I don’t think you’re going to pry Billingsly or Jackson (or even Broxton) from them. Certainly not for Casey or Randa.

    As for Choi – I still like him, but can you IMAGINE what the Cincy media and fans would do to HIM?

  29. Greg

    Good point…and i just remembered that they have a Beane prodigy at GM…so I doubt they’ll be trading many high-value prospects…

  30. Tyler

    Jackson may be a possiblity. He just got demoted to AA. He really needs a change of secenery. His ERA is over 8 this year in the minors. Which means he could be in our rotation, well…..now!

  31. Baseball Musings

    Kearns and Trades
    It’s posts like this that make me believe that Dan O’Brien won’t be far behind Dave Miley on his way out of Cincinnati….

  32. Sox Fan

    Isnt the Bowden coversation tampering?

  33. Chris W

    In the same season where the Reds fessed up that Danny Graves was horrid, released D.J., and fired two members of the coaching staff who had been long time members of the organization, what are the chances they’ll pony up and fire the GM.

    My current feeling with the club gives the odds at less than 5%. It would make WAY to much sense to fire the guy responsible for this mess. (But wait, they can’t fire Carl.)