So after a dry spell, I've got some good reads today. Enough to save a couple for a Valentine's Day special tomorrow.
As noted on the front page, Kevin Mench has signed a minor league deal with the Rangers. Here's the ESPN.com story. It was earlier reported that the Rangers would only sign him if he agreed to go to AAA. Apparently, they reached a compromise, as Lone Star Ball notes he can become a free agent if he's still in the minors on June 1.
As noted at Baseball Musings and In-Between Hops, the Mets are changing the dimensions at their spring training park in Port St. Lucie to match the dimensions of their new ballpark in Queens. Seeing as most spring training ballparks don't have outfield seating or anything like that, I'd imagine it's relatively easy to move the fences in and out, but is it really worthwhile? My guess is no, unless you have a really weird feature (see Monster, Green) that takes some getting used to.
While I'm on the subject of ballparks, here's an interesting story on the situation of the Omaha Royals. The O-Royals play their home games in cavernous Rosenblatt Stadium, home of the College World Series. It's a great venue for the NCAA and the huge crowds they draw in, but it's a terrible facility to try to use for AAA baseball; it's just way too big. It's hard to generate excitement in a stadium that would look empty with 8000 people in it but only draws 3-4000. Now, on top of that, Rosenblatt is undergoing 2 years of renovations. They've promised the park will be fine for the CWS, but the O-Royals are out of luck and will have to find a new home. The city seems to think they'll go somewhere else for two years and come right back. The Royals don't seem so sure.
Ok, back to Brewer related stuff. Rich Lederer of Baseball Analysts has put together lists of the best 22-23 year olds and 24-25 year olds in baseball. There's a lot to be proud of in that second list...I'm sure the Brewers are the only team with all four infielders ranked. Also, Lederer is ridiculously high on LaPorta, ranking him 13th among 23 year olds despite the fact that he's never played above A-ball.
I'll close with a non-Brewer note: Craig Biggio has signed back on with the Astros as a special assistant to the general manager, with a focus on working with "the kids." I have this mental image of, on the first day of camp, Biggio pulling together the team's hot prospects and teaching them how to crowd the plate and take pitches off their elbows. Except they're not veterans, so they don't get armor.