Lexington native Austin Kearns is heading back to Ohio. The Lafayette High School alum signed a one-year, $1.3 million contract with the Cleveland Indians Monday morning, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Kearns signed with Cleveland prior to the 2010 season but was traded to the New York Yankees on July 30. The right-handed hitting outfielder spent parts of his first five MLB seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, who selected him in the first round of the 1998 draft out of Lafayette.
Kearns batted .263 with 10 home runs, 49 RBI and 55 runs scored in 120 games for the Indians and Yankees in 2010. Despite appearing in 36 regular-season games with the Yankees, Kearns did not make an appearance in a postseason game. While Kearns was on the active roster for each of the Yankees’ postseason series in 2010, he has yet to appear in a playoff game in his nine-season MLB career. In 962 career games, Kearns has batted .257 with 115 home runs, 471 RBI and 480 runs scored.