The Cubs are hot on the trail of Kevin Mench to fill one of their vacant outfield spots. Given that the Rangers have a need for a center fielder, it’s been speculated that Corey Patterson would be sent to Texas.
At age 27, Mench may have already reached his ceiling offensively. His AVG, OBP, and SLG all took a dip in 2005, his first full season. Mench didn’t rely on Ameriquest for his 25 home runs, as his splits are pretty even. He still has three years until free agency. Mench might be better served as a lefty-masher in a platoon – he slugged .600 vs. lefties in ’05.
Corey Patterson is long on potential, but has absolutely no ability to control the strike zone. The Rangers are hoping 2005 was rock bottom for Patterson.
Given the Cubs’ need for bullpen help, Jim Hendry may try to get Joaquin Benoit in the deal. Despite throwing a solid 87 innings in 2005, the 28 year-old righthander probably won’t be considered for the Rangers’ starting rotation in 2006. Benoit has an electric fastball and great K rate, but his problems with walks and home runs may run him out of town. He’s a great sleeper if he ever snags a starting gig.