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Nats add Mench on minor league deal

Baseball America, in its weekly rundown of minor league transactions, details the latest batch of Nationals' minor league signings. We already knew about the Chuck James signing, but the addition of Kevin Mench is also worth noting. Mench had a promising run with the Rangers in 2004 and 2005, swatting a combined 51 homers, but since then he's come nowhere close to such productivity. Evidently he spent 2009 with the Hanshin Tigers, in Japan. If you want to customize your own "Mench" Tigers jersey, click here.

Mench, 32, an outfielder, is a lifetime .269 hitter with a .460 slugging percentage. According to baseball-reference.com, Mench finished seventh in 2002 AL rookie of the year voting. (And check out who finished third in the NL.)

By Chico Harlan  |  February 3, 2010; 10:28 AM ET
 
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Comments

Was the note about the 3rd place NL really necessary? I'm trying to block out those bad memories.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | February 3, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Custom jersey, heck. The Nats need to set up a Kevin Mench giant batting helmet sundae promotion. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 3, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

hmmm, check out the NL's #9. What even happened to Simontacchi, anyway?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 3, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

What about #2? No love for Brad Wilkerson? He took the first ever Nats at-bat!

Posted by: nationalsanthems | February 3, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

If you could get Mench and Putz on the same team, it would be Yiddish-o-rama.

Posted by: markfromark | February 3, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Let's not forget Brad Wilkerson was on that list too. How bright they would have thought the future was if a team had Wilkerson, Mench, and Kearns in the outfield circa 2002.

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 3, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

From SI.com via MLB.com via Twitter via.......Exactly.....Not really new but anyway........

MLB.com's Bill Ladson reported via Twitter that free-agent second baseman Orlando Hudson is expected to make a decision on his new home "this week" and the Nationals "are the leading candidates to sign him." One source told Ladson the 32-year-old switch-hitter -- a two-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner -- wants to sign with the Nats "real bad," but Hudson appears unwilling to play for a discounted rate.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 3, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Ramon Ortiz signed with the Dodgers. You remember Ramon Ortiz. Skinny, fast starting pitcher/pinch runner from Frank's 2006 squad. Pitched a one hit 1-0 game in which he belted the one run homer that won the game. Those weree the good old days when the team routinely won over 70 games every year ....

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 3, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Ladson is tweeting about possible interest from the Nats in Chien-Ming Wang.

Posted by: AtomicOvermind | February 3, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Mench - shouldn't we be suspicious of anyone who "had a promising run with the Rangers", and then performance fell off about the time Steroid testing started in earnest? Just sayin.

Posted by: driggs1 | February 3, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Didn't mean to dis the Wilk-man.

Yes, I remember Ortiz. As he might say, "unbelievable." :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 3, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I want a flat screen HD TV real bad, but I'm unwilling to pay more than $150.

Something's gotta give.

-----

One source told Ladson the 32-year-old switch-hitter -- a two-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner -- wants to sign with the Nats "real bad," but Hudson appears unwilling to play for a discounted rate.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 3, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

That '02 NL ROTY list was woeful. Jason Simontacchi was even on there.

Does anyone know how Mench did in Japan or where I could find that info?

Posted by: MBUSA | February 3, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Ladson is tweeting about possible interest from the Nats in Chien-Ming Wang.

Posted by: AtomicOvermind | February 3, 2010 11:19 AM
____________________________

They definately need to write his ENTIRE name down when making a reference to a teams interest in this guy.

"Nats interested in Wang" just doesn't sit right with me...

Posted by: TimDz | February 3, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

>>Does anyone know how Mench did in Japan

Dunno but Tom Sellack was great over there once he got his issues ironed out with the manager and cured the hole in his swing.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 3, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

World Series.

Posted by: Cartaldo | February 3, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Any article about Mench and Putz ought to be written in the Baltimore Sun by Peter Schmuck.

Posted by: ramgut | February 3, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

TimDz,

You got me. That was LOL at work funny.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 3, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

JiM, have I got a deal for you!
It's 52 inches, only two years old. It only gets broadcast TV now, and there's no sound, but it has a full set of tools. If you can get it running, you could have the full premium cable package! Tremendous upside!! I have it installed on my Segway now, but I can deliver it for $125, or trade you for an unlocked iPhone.


**********************************
I want a flat screen HD TV real bad, but I'm unwilling to pay more than $150.
Something's gotta give.
-----
One source told Ladson the 32-year-old switch-hitter -- a two-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner -- wants to sign with the Nats "real bad," but Hudson appears unwilling to play for a discounted rate.
Posted by: JohninMpls | February 3, 2010 11:30 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 3, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

>>I seldom agree with Dovelevine, but he is right


Welcome to the dark side my friend. You can check in but you can never leave

Posted by: dovelevine | February 3, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

yeah, this whole "won't sign for a discount" crap is just that... crap.

is it really a "discount" if nobody else is offering him more? and if someone else is offering him more, why isn't he signing there?

shenanigans.

Posted by: sec231 | February 3, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Tired of all this Hudson stuff. Just go ahead and sign Kennedy and move on. Enough is enough.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 3, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, the problem is obvious: Hudson is Cheap.

******************
yeah, this whole "won't sign for a discount" crap is just that... crap.
is it really a "discount" if nobody else is offering him more? and if someone else is offering him more, why isn't he signing there?
shenanigans.
Posted by: sec231 | February 3, 2010 12:29 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 3, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Eh, what's the rush? If they sign him now, or later, ST doesn't start for a couple of weeks, either way.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 3, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

>>Eh, what's the rush?

The rush is I don't want to hear about this guy every day for weeks and then read that someone else swooped in and signed him. Have seen this movie before.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 3, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

if i remember correctly this guy's nickname was "shrek" because i think he wears like a size 8 hat.

i watch too much sportscenter.

Posted by: akdeac31 | February 3, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Classic!

-----

JiM, have I got a deal for you!
It's 52 inches, only two years old. It only gets broadcast TV now, and there's no sound, but it has a full set of tools. If you can get it running, you could have the full premium cable package! Tremendous upside!! I have it installed on my Segway now, but I can deliver it for $125, or trade you for an unlocked iPhone.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 3, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

on the "and then read someone else swooped in" we are in full agreement.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 3, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, 8 1/4 to 8 1/2 depending on who is doing the measuring. Should I say something now about how size doesn't matter? :-)

---

if i remember correctly this guy's nickname was "shrek" because i think he wears like a size 8 hat.

i watch too much sportscenter.

Posted by: akdeac31 | February 3, 2010 12:59 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 3, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang..."yup" to all. And apropos of any other news, a quick story:
A few years back, I was in a bar and mentioned Wang...pronouncing his name "Chin Ming Wong"...which is pretty close to the correct -a pal of mine speaks Mandarin and Cantonese....upon which, a young lady -not part of my group, a total stranger-took loud umbrage. Castigated me for being insulting with my racial parody of his name. I looked at her in a bewildered fashion-asked Huh???What are you talking about? That IS his name-and how it's pronounced....a pause while one of HER pals confirmed what I was saying...then an "oh...sorry..."
Like I said, apropos of nothin' else to report or comment on....other than if he's 1/2 right, it's the NL east, not the AL east.....
And Driggs...good point-The ex-Senators appear to have been steroid central....
Go Nats!!!!

Posted by: zendo | February 3, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

If Hudson had found a taker at $7M or $8M a year he would have signed already.

So, why are a lot of you posting that the Nats should just sign this guy regardless of cost?

There are few second basemen in baseball that are worth this type of money.

We are not talking about a catcher or third baseman with stellar defense and a big bat, those positions demand a $10M player.

Hudson is probably worth $5M right now in the open market.

That's above the Nats bottom line price of $3M but a whole lot less than the $9M he started out asking for.

Posted by: leopard09 | February 3, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

There just are not that many places for Hudason to go. The Nats are problematic in that he'd bat 7th or 8th, but otherwise, a starting spot is there for him and I think he prefers the NL. My guess is that it is hard to determine his worth right now because all of his suitors are likely offering incentive laden deals and Kennedy and Lopez are still out there 9as last I had heard). `

Posted by: dfh21 | February 3, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

So Marco Estrada got claimed off waivers by the Brewers. Apparently BA had Estrada as #18 on the Nationals prospects list, but I am not terribly troubled by the Nats losing him. I'm more troubled by the fact that Estrada was number 18. He was not very good in brief trials witht he club, he's undersized, and he he's already 26. It would have been nice to get something for him, but he was not going to survive the spring on the 40 man roster anyway. Maybe Estrada manages to make it to the majors for a few years before he's 30, but he's getting a little long in the tooth to be considered a real prospect.

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 3, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

this hudson hype is ridiculous. this isn't like when we were in on teixiera, a longterm franchise player.

hudson either signs and i'll be happy for this year or he doesn't and i won't care. i can't consider this some franchise defining move. signing strasburg was a much bigger deal. extending zimmerman was a much bigger deal. even signing dunn was a much bigger deal.

our club has leverage. let them use it. if he doesn't sign here it's not because ownership failed. it will be because hudson is a free agent and gets to choose.

also, this drama over pitchers who throw 100 ks a year with 4.50 era's is absurd. we've made our moves and i'm ready to see them play. there might be some value out there but most of it is luck of the draw at this point. all one year contracts hoping for career years. yawn.

here's to hoping detwiler has arrived!

Posted by: longterm | February 3, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

i'm starting to think the redskins have interest in hudson.

only difference is nats know what position he plays and who they are bidding against.

Posted by: longterm | February 3, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Well it took me awhile but I finally found stats for Mench in Japan: .148/.204/.170 in 54 ABs. I could go on but you get the idea. Landfill diving anyone?

Posted by: BobLHead | February 3, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Yea enough with Hudson, let's get retro for a minute. Just thought it interesting that the guy Manhny Acta loved so much in right field--Austin Kearns-- that he constantly started him over more deserving players last year, couldn't even make 1-- NOT ONE major league roster this season. And he only made 1-- that's ONE--- Minor League roster. And who was that....Manny Acta's Indians. Man Oh Man.
Hey Cleveland get ready for having the
No. 1 pick the next few years. You got a real leader.

Just a little relapse. Sorry couldn't help it. Now back to our regularly scheduled Hudson watch.
Carry on.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 3, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that Chico points out that Austin Kearns finished third in the ROY race in 2002,but doesn't seem to know who Brad Wilkerson is.He finished second,and Chico,he played for the Nationals in 2005,their first year here.

Posted by: seanmg | February 3, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

In other news, I found out what happened to Simontacchi. Apparently, he's starting for Venezuela in tonight's CWS match.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 3, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Brad Wilkerson was the the same disappointment that Austin Kearns was for the Nats.

Posted by: CoachD1 | February 3, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

@seanmg "Interesting that Chico points out that Austin Kearns finished third in the ROY race in 2002,but doesn't seem to know who Brad Wilkerson is."

Most interesting. Those who can remember WAAYYYY back to 2005 will recall that Wilkerson was the first face of the franchise after they moved to DC.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | February 3, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh. Simontacchi. King of the 2B pickoff. LOVE the 2B pickoff.

In fact, if I heard that pitchers were only going to work on 2B pickoffs in ST(ok, and bunting and fielding too), I'd be a very happy customer.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 3, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Chico - You may be missing the boat on Mench. Look at his platoon splits from 2004 - 07 ('08 was an injury disaster). He kills lefties (OPS v. LHP - '04 1.036 / '05 .980 / '06 .876 / '07 .901), and Duncan kills righties. If there were a move involving either Dukes or Willingham, then you might see the Nats platooning in either corner. harris and morse could also have roles in platoons.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 3, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Check out who finished second as well!!!

Posted by: periculum | February 3, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Guys, we covered this stuff at 11:04 am. Get with the program. Here at NJ we never beat dead horses.

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 3, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Guys, remember just how clueless Chico is about baseball, as well as previous Nats before he got to WaPo. In a chat (remember those??) some novice fan asked Chico about the 1st base coach using a stopwatch and the runner at 1st grasping his batting gloves in his hands while running the bases and he DIDN'T HAVE A CLUE why!!! This is a guy who the Post hired to cover a ML beat. Unbelievable!!

And Mark Zuckerman, late of the Times, is still out there unemployed. With his intimate knowledge of the Nats and the game itself, plus the fact that he's covered the team from the beginning, IMO he would be the perfect hire as the new Post beat writer. However, I'm not holding my breath on that one!!

Posted by: OldSkoolDiehard | February 3, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, stop beating a dead horse.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 3, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

And you can't trade draft picks.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 3, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

That horse isn't dead yet. It's just a flesh wound.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 3, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

That horse isn't dead yet. It's just a flesh wound.
Posted by: BobLHead | February 3, 2010 5:40 PM
------------------
And this is not the plague, and you are not the Black Knight, and..."This is not my beautiful house / and this is not my beautiful wife / My god, what have I done? / Letting the days roll by / Once in a Lifetime."

From film to song in one transition; Only on planet NJ. But we're just 15 days away from Catchers & Pitchers in Viera, and sanity will be restored.

Posted by: BinM | February 3, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Beat Horses

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxWHgjJxfjE&feature=related

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 3, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Hudson's ego is getting in the way. He thought that the contract he signed was a discount even though it was the best contract out there. Again this season the Nats probably have the best offer on the table Hudson still believes he is worth twice as much as his market value.

I bet Hudson's friends say that trying to tell him he is not as good as he thinks he is, is like beating a dead horse.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | February 3, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, NN, I forgot about his pickoff skills. I can see it now. Okay, everybody, it's time for PFP now, with our special guest instructor.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 3, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and bring out your dead.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 3, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Whiskey for my men ... beer for my hawses ....

Posted by: periculum | February 3, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Brad Wilkerson was the the same disappointment that Austin Kearns was for the Nats. CoackD1
-----------------------------------------
I don't know... didn't we trade Wilk for Soriano and then got Zimmermann with the draft pick we got for losing him to the Cubs? I'd say Wilk wasn't THAT big of a bust. He also hit for the cycle in the second ever Nationals game.

Posted by: twinbrook | February 3, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Brad Wilkerson was the the same disappointment that Austin Kearns was for the Nats. CoackD1
-----------------------------------------
I don't know... didn't we trade Wilk for Soriano and then got Zimmermann with the draft pick we got for losing him to the Cubs? I'd say Wilk wasn't THAT big of a bust. He also hit for the cycle in the second ever Nationals game.

Posted by: twinbrook

Absolutely spot-on, Twinbrook. We didn't get a bag of balls for AK, and he stole $8 million last year. Wilk wasn't much, but he looked like Roger Maris compared to AK .210. Indians are my pick to lose over 100 games this year, giving Manny the hat trick in that category.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | February 3, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

surely the potent combo of austin and manny will put it all together this year

Posted by: bford1kb | February 3, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

A Florida theme: Orlando before Viera.

Posted by: Drew8 | February 3, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Morning NJers,

We're going to be in Florida the first week in March and are taking the kids to Disney the weekend of the 6th/7th. The Nats play in Orlando the 5th (first full squad ST game) and in Viera on the 6th. What are the odds that Dunn/Zimmy (kids want to see/meet both) will be in Orlando for the game on the 5th?

Posted by: natslifer | February 4, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Mench. Putz. Sounds like a Borscht Belt routine by Abbot & Costello:

Costello: Who's on first?
Abbot: Putz.
Costello: What did you call me?
Abbot: Mench.
Costello: That's better.
Abbot: Yeah, Schmeggegi.
Costello: What did you call me?
Abbot: Mench.

Posted by: luv2bikva | February 4, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Good one, biker.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 4, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

We went to the Braves park to see the Nationals play a couple of years ago. I think it is a good chance that they will have a full squad, since it is so close to Viera. It is a nice little stadium to see a ST game. Sit on the third base side, which is where the Nats will be. We just sat on the berm (lawn) and were able to get right up to the players warming up. You might want to go to SH and see if you can score one really good seat in the grandstand and then trade off between the lawn and the seat during the game. You are able to hang over the edge of the Nats bulpen and do pretty well for autographs.

Posted by: twinbrook | February 4, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-at work, quick link, nice take on Daniel Cabrera:

http://www.mlbnotebook.com/2010-articles/february/daniel-cabrera-and-the-ace-that-wasnt.html

Go Nats!!!!

Posted by: zendo2 | February 4, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@Twinbrook - Thanks for the tips - do you remember what they're practice schedule was that day? Any BP or just come out, throw a bit and start playing?

Posted by: natslifer | February 4, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

wilkerson played well in montreal for a few years, but started to slide in 2005 when they came to DC. he was still a decent defensive player while he was here, though. and brought a good return in trade. still remember soriano's 3HR game in RFK against the braves after a long rain delay in 06.

Posted by: sec231 | February 4, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Other than the typical "I'm in the best shape of my life" type comments, has anyone heard anything about the health of the young guns? I think Stammen had a health issue and of course Olsen is recovering, but will Detwiler, Balester, Martin, Martis, Mock, and Thompson be coming to spring training with good health? Who knows what?

And of the pitchers listed above, how would you rate their chances of ending up in the rotation? I personally rank the odds of making the rotation as follows, but am interested in others opinions as well:

Olsen, Stammen, Detwiler, Martin, Mock, Martis, Thompson, Balester.

Thoughts?

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 4, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

@natslifer -- I don't think there was bp, but to be honest I don't remember for sure. I know I got some great pictures of them hanging out and streatching in the outfield. The ball park at WDW is really cute. Just what you would expect from the mouse people, like a major league park, only smaller. The food was good but the beer selection was dissapointing. I seem to remember parking was free, and you can also take one of those Disney shuttle buses if you are staying at one of the Disney hotels.

Posted by: twinbrook | February 4, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Maybe in the new post, natbiscuits.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 4, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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