Kevin Mench Rumors

Minor League Transactions: Mench, Perez, Cairo

A 25 homer hitter, a former first rounder and a 14-year veteran signed this week. Baseball America's Matt Eddy has the details on those transactions and more. Here are some highlights from January 25th-31st:

  • The Nationals signed Kevin Mench. The 32-year-old didn't play in the majors last year, but he hit 25 homers as recently as 2005. He has a career .900 OPS against lefties.
  • The Blue Jays signed Wade Townsend. The Rays released the 2005 first rounder last summer, but the Jays are giving him a chance. 
  • The Reds signed Miguel Cairo. The 14-year-veteran posted a .705 OPS for the Phillies last year in 47 plate appearances. 
  • The White Sox signed Daniel Cabrera. The 6'7'' right-hander led the American League in walks and earned runs allowed when he logged over 200 innings for the Orioles in 2007. He split time with the D'Backs and Nationals last year, struggling with both clubs.  
  • The Dodgers signed Timo Perez out of the Can-Am League. The 34-year-old surfaced as a rookie for the Mets in the 2000 Subway Series. 
  • The Phillies signed Freddy Guzman. 
  • The Mets signed Val Pascucci, who has 193 minor league homers to his name.

Mench Completes Deal With Japanese Team

MLBTR reported this was going to happen, and now it has. Kevin Mench will be playing for the Hanshin Tigers in 2009.

The deal is for one year and is worth $1.8MM. Mench, 30, played in the outfield for the Blue Jays last season. He hit .243/.321/.357 in 131 plate appearances for Toronto.

Odds and Ends: Griffey, Springer, Hoffman

Links for Wednesday…

Hanshin Tigers Sign Kevin Mench

Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along a Sanspo report (link in Japanese) that Kevin Mench is nearing a one-year, $2MM deal with the Hanshin Tigers.  Mench, 31 in January, wasn’t going to find that kind of money in the States after hitting .243/.321/.357 in 131 plate appearances for the Blue Jays.

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Phillies Rumors: Baldelli, Hairston, Mench

5:44pm:’s Ken Mandel says the Phillies have Rocco Baldelli, Jerry Hairston Jr., and Kevin Mench on the radar in the event they don’t re-sign Burrell.  The Phillies have long liked Baldelli, though the Rays hope to talk contract soonReds GM Walt Jocketty recently met with Hairston’s agent, and feels he made progress.  And the Hanshin Tigers hope to lure Mench to Japan.

9:38am: Checkin’ in on the Phillies…

  • GM Ruben Amaro Jr. had an informal five-minute talk with Casey Close, who represents Ryan Howard and Joe Blanton.
  • Talks have not yet begun with free agents Pat Burrell, Jamie Moyer, and Scott Eyre.  Conversations will begin soon with Moyer and Eyre.
  • Curt Schilling would be open to returning to the Phillies if he pitches next year.  Amaro says he hasn’t even considered the possibility yet.  He would make a nice fifth starter if they can re-sign Moyer.
  • The Phillies control setup man Ryan Madson through 2009, but he’s represented by Scott Boras.  Boras compared Madson to Mariano Rivera circa 1996, so don’t look for an affordable long-term deal.
  • Amaro talked to at least 27 other GMs at the meetings.
  • No word yet from the Philly writers on Andrew Baggarly’s rumor that the Phils will listen on Jimmy Rollins.

Odds and Ends: Twins, Big Unit, Rockies

Links and tidbits for Wednesday.  Remember to check back on this post for updates!

Jays Acquire Kevin Mench, Brad Wilkerson

3:03pm: The Wilkerson signing is also official now.  Both are pretty much no-risk moves.

2:48pm: According to the Newberg Report mailing list, the Blue Jays have acquired outfielder Kevin Mench from the Rangers for cash considerations.

The Brad Wilkerson acquisition may still be in the works, but Mench is a better match as a lefty-masher.  He has a career line of .305/.361/.563 against them.  It’s only been 34 Triple A ABs but Mench is hitting .412/.500/.706 against southpaws this year.

Odds and Ends: Braves, Cruz, Breslow

Some nuggets from today…

  • The Braves look to be the market for a bat off the bench and according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution it’s not likely to be a minor name. O’Brien asked Wren if the Braves "had money to add a player of significant salary to their payroll," throwing out an accompanying figure of $3-4MM, to which Wren said yes "without hesitation." Let’s use this to set the stage for what should be an interesting late spring Reed Johnson sweepstakes.
  • Evan Grant of the The Dallas Morning News believes that Jason Botts 2 for 5 performance on Saturday versus the Mariners has locked up a roster spot for the young DH/1B. Speculation is that Kevin Mench, who can be optioned, would be sent to the minors and that Nelson Cruz could be designated for assignment.
  • speculates the ugly spring put up by Aaron Fultz may have played a part in the team’s decision to claim Craig Breslow off  waivers from the Red Sox. Fultz has put up an 11.88 ERA in just over eight innings and last week he gave up four runs on five hits during a performance against Double-A Akron in an intrasquad game last week.

Aaron Shinsano writes for East Windup Chronicle.

Rangers Rumors: Guardado, Cameron, Hamilton’s T.R. Sullivan has all the latest hot stove buzz around the Rangers.

  • The Rangers are nearing a deal with Eddie Guardado.  Everyday Eddie might be a dark horse to close, if he can flash his late season form again.  The Reds decided in October that he was not worth $3.5MM, and declined his option.  Guardado is 37.
  • The Rangers hope to add some kind of veteran starter.  Bartolo Colon and Jason Jennings are still options, but Mark Prior and Freddy Garcia pretty much are not.  Sullivan names Mike Maroth, Mark Hendrickson, and Josh Towers as pitchers of interest.
  • Mike Cameron could be an option for center field if he’ll take a one-year deal.  A multiyear demand would also take the Rangers out of the running for Corey Patterson.
  • Sullivan notes that the Reds want Edinson Volzquez for Josh Hamilton, a possibility he first mentioned three weeks agoJamey Newberg doesn’t think Volquez would cut it.  Other trade options could include Andre Ethier, Coco Crisp, and Juan Pierre.
  • The Rangers will pass on a Kevin Mench reunion.

Odds and Ends: Mench, Kent, Durbin, Wang

Rounding up this morning’s Odds and Ends, to be updated periodically…