It seems that the Astros will proceed with the saner alternative of moving Kent back to third base after a 6-year hiatus. This is as opposed to moving current second baseman Craig Biggio to left field (Does anybody remember Chuck Knoblauch, er, laughter?). The move makes a good deal of sense since if Kent can play passable defense at third, then he should out-hit every other third sacker in baseball and be a huge asset. Biggio doesn't hit well enough of late to be considered a viable major-league left fielder.
How does Kent's offense compare to the hot corner field? His 37 home runs were 7 more than the leaders at third (Rolen, Glaus, and Batista), and his .933 OPS would be 80 points higher than third-base leader Scot Rolen.
My one reservation-besides Kent's defense, specifically his arm and reflexes-is that the Astros did not in actuality have a problem at third base. Geoff Blum did a fine job there in 2002 for the 'Stros. His .807 OPS was 3rd among Astros "starters" and 6th among MLB third sackers. He may not be great defensively, but his Range Factor is 2.92 , which would be good for tie for fifth in the majors in 2002 (if he had played enough games at third to qualify). His Zone Rating was only good for 15th in the majors. (Thanks to ESPN.) Let's say that he is about average defensively. He would still be a better than average third baseman in the majors.
Compare that to Daryle Ward, whose OPS was the fourth worst in the majors for a left fielder, and Ricardo Hidalgo, who was 16th among starting right fielders. Also, Catcher Brad Ausmus, who is known more for his glove, was the fourth worst offensive catcher in the majors (by OPS). Signing Kent does nothing to help the offense in the corner outfield spots.