Supposedly, the Rangers are negotiating a one-year deal with Kevin Mench right now. The never-ending discussions about a multi-year deal appear to have been tabled once again, and with arbitration set for a week from today in Mench's case, the parties apparently are just trying to get a contract signed for the 2006 season.
O'Brien says Mench is asking for $3 million and has been offered $2 million, but that is inaccurate. Mench has asked for $3.05 million, and the Rangers have offered $2.45 million.
Former Ranger Craig Monroe and the Tigers agreed to a one-year deal for $2.8 million, a development that should significantly help Mench's case.
In 3+ seasons, Monroe (who like Mench is a corner outfielder) has a .266/.313/.453 line with 64 homers and a .271 EQA in 1646 career plate appearances. Mench, in 3+ seasons, has a career .272/.334/.484 line with 68 homers and a .277 EQA in 1647 career plate appearances.
I doubt Mench is going to take anything less than the $2.8 million Monroe got, and I'd imagine Monroe would be Exhibit A in Mench's arbitration hearing. I'm guessing it will take $2.85-2.9 million from the Rangers for this case to settle.
In other arbitration news, Juan Pierre got $5.75 million from the Cubs. That's a lot of money for a guy who really isn't that good.