Mench rumors

You know the market is crazy when there's plenty of demand for a corner outfielder who hit .269/.313/.419 last year, but apparently people want Kevin Mench.

It's a little weird to quote myself, but I put together a couple of published speculations and comments for a very logical three-way deal (or succession of two trades between three teams):

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (perhaps optimistically) speculates that Mench could be part of a deal for Jon Lieber. If speculation can lend credence to other speculation, here's some: the Philadelphia Inquirer mentions that the Phillies could deal Rowand to the White Sox for one of Chicago's surplus starters, freeing up Lieber for a different deal.

This all makes plenty of sense: it's essentially a three-way trade in which the White Sox get the CF they want and make room in the rotation for Brandon McCarthy; the Phillies get the corner bat they want, improve the rotation, and open up center for Shane Victorino; and the Brewers take on a bit of payroll (which they have room for, a least a few million's worth) and fill their one need at the meetings: a mid-rotation starter to take the pressure off of some combination of Claudio Vargas, Carlos Villanueva, and Zach Jackson.

It's the perfect deal, much like the D-backs/Brewers swap. Each one of the three teams has both a surplus and a need, and another one of the teams has something that matches up with that.

As I said in a comment to the thread below this one, I think this would be a major win for the Brewers: Lieber would give the Brewers four quality, durable (ok, three durable + Ben Sheets) starters with a the possibility of being at least league average, for what is probably below market value.

While Mench could bounce back, we wouldn't have to count on that. As much as it's nice to speculate that he'll mash lefties all year long, I really don't want to suffer through an extension of the '06 second half. Lieber on the other hand, is a known quantity, and would give the Brewers very possibly the best rotation in the division. Not a flashy one, but a very solid 1-4 with plenty of potential at #5.

Update [2006-12-5 18:36:33 by Jeff]: This writer speculates that the Brewers could include Jose Capellan along with Mench in order to get Lieber. Please, please, let that be false. Now...Capellan and Mench for Lieber and Rowand? There, we might have something, especially if Jenkins is dumped elsewhere to clear some payroll.

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