According to this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blog, the Milwaukee Brewers have designated OFer Kevin Mench for assignment to make room for Salomon Torres. As a result, the Brewers now have ten days to either trade him or release him outright.
No matter which way the Brew Crew goes, I can’t imagine that Mench will be without a team for very long. He’s the perfect platoon guy who crushes left-handed pitching. Since 2005, Mench has an OPS of .919 against southpaws over 400 ABs, while slugging .558. Needless to say, those are some very useful numbers, and the Mets recently traded for a guy who’s the exact opposite.
Newly acquired Ryan Church has performed very well over his career against righties, posting an OPS of .856 against them (but only a .742 against lefties). If you combine two outfielders – one who is above average against lefties and another who is above average against righties – what do you get, kids? Why, a position covered by an above-average hitter, of course!
But as with everything else, it’s simply not that easy. If the Mets feel that Mench (as the righty in a platoon) is worth what he made in arbitration last year ($3.4 million), then they may as well offer up a player to be named later to acquire him. If they take a wait-and-see approach and hope he hits the open market, it’s unlikely that Mench would sign with a team that can’t guarantee him 400 ABs, so a trade seems to be the only way to go.
If the Mets decide to go this route and are successful, they could possibly end up with a combo capable of OPSing around .850, which is roughly what you can expect out of far more recognizable names such as Nick Swisher, Bobby Abreu, and Alex Rios. Not bad, right?