Yanks show interest in Kevin Mench

Now pitching, number 34, Phil Hughes?
Shelley set for 2008

Yes, there’s a chance that baseball’s biggest head will get a shot with the Bombers. The Yanks have expressed interest in the 30-year-old outfielder. He’d give the team a right-handed bench option.
Of course, this would be on a minor league deal, so as with Ensberg and Lane, there is no risk. If you look how the roster breaks down, the Yanks have a couple of options for bench spots:

1. Wang
2. Pettitte
3. Mussina
4. Hughes
5. Joba
6. Kennedy
7. Mo
8. Farns
9. LaTroy
10. TBA – bullpen
11. TBA – bullpen
12. TBA – bullpen
13. Posada
14. Cano
15. Jeter
16. A-Rod
17. Matsui
18. Damon
19. Melky
20. Abreu
21. Betemit
22. Giambi
23. Molina
24. Shelley
25. TBA – bench

And even Shelley’s spot isn’t guaranteed. So you have him, Ensberg, Lane, Nick Green, and Mench going up for two spots. Plus, it gives the team some decent insurance options should the injury bug bite during Spring Training.

Now pitching, number 34, Phil Hughes?
Shelley set for 2008
  • steve (different one)

    the Yankees are quietly building the best bench in baseball.

  • Jake

    I’m curious why the Yanks are trying out Ensberg, Lane and Mench, but not Tony Clark. Last year he had 17 HR in just 221 AB. A bad OBP, but better than .500 SLG. Not sure how he is with the leather.

  • jsbrendog

    had tony clark in ny for awhile didnt we? didnt work out too well. even if it makes sense now…..

  • jsbrendog

    well, it was 2004 and he wasnt that bad…..

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      His 3 for 21 performance with 9 strikeouts in the ALCS still leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        Yes, but he did hit the ball that, in any other fucking stadium, would have won the Series for the Yanks. Not that I think about that every day…

        • steve

          not to mention that 2 run homer of pedro.

  • Adrian-Retire21

    To bad Brian can’t read pitchers that can help him and just bench players.

  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    I find it odd that guys like Mench, Ensberg and Lane can’t find ML deals elsewhere. Ensberg would be perfect for the Giants. Mench would be a nice fit for Cleveland. Lane would be good off the bench for lots of NL clubs.

    I guess people would rather roll the dice with the kids than pay a vet $1-2M.

  • jon

    I’d like to see Ensberg and Shelley in the last 2 bench spots. I don’t see how you can make much of a case for Lane, Green, or Mench over either of them.

    Perhaps Green’s defense at 2B is a bit better, but that’s about it. Given that Cano and Jeter are going to play every inning, this is not much of an issue. If one gets hurt, we make a roster move.

    The pen is tougher. Right now my gut says Ohlendorf and Albaladejo should be 2 of the 3, and that the 3rd should also be a RHP, probably Ramirez. I’ll concede that it will depend on who has options.

  • RichYF

    How servicable would Livan Hernandez be? What about Colon? To me, in a lot of ways, it makes sense to “overbook” the starting rotation, especially with some of the kids that have options. I think all 3 have options left no?

    I wouldn’t mind seeing one or two of the kids in the minors to start the season pitching innings that are much less stressful than the same at the ML level. 20-25 innings in AA or AAA would benefit them in October methinks.

    Then again, I guess since neither have contracts they can’t have much left. Hernandez can go 15 innings a start, however. Colon is cooked (?) so maybe he’s not a great idea.

    Just throwing things out there. I’m excited for the youngsters but I’d rather have them eased into the rotation rather than thrown to the wolves for a full season.

    • jon

      I can’t imagine any scenario where I’d rather see Livan Hernandez than one of the healthy kids (or Mussina) starting a game. What happens to Livan in May?

      I agree that it’s a problem but apparently Cashman and Eiland have it under control (interested to see what they come up with).

      I still think some sort of modified 6-man rotation where Wang pitches more often is the best bet.

      If we didn’t have Mussina, I’d be more in favor of a Livan signing. If he took starts from one of the kids every couple times through the rotation, that could work.

  • Shane

    I say sign the remaining free agents and let them fight out the final two roster spots in a winner take all WWF style cage match.

    Think about it…

  • dan

    So of those 5, who would go to the minors? Shelley doesn’t have a choice, so lets see here…. I think Green and Lane would take the minor league job, simply because they won’t get major league contracts with other teams. If Mench accepts the invitation, he’ll make the team– he’s a force vs. lefties (.314/.343/.558 in a down year last year). Ensberg won’t take a minor league job, he could get a bench spot somewhere else, and the yankees already have betemit and alberto gonzalez on the roster to play third if need be (god knows they have enough first basemen).

    So, in my mind, the last two bench spots are going to Mench (assuming he’s nvited and accepts), and Shelley Duncan, because he has nothing to prove in AAA and is at or near his peak. That sends Green, Ensberg, and Lane either to the minors or to another team.

  • Do we really need another roid guy on the team?

    Kevin Mench? Seriously.

  • Rich

    An interesting related note from NJ.com:


    The interest in Mench could also have something to do with the Yankees’ efforts this winter to trade Cabrera. According to a person who has discussed the situation with the Yankees and asked not to be named because he is not an authorized team spokesman, the team earlier this offseason was looking into dealing Cabrera — to Minnesota for Johan Santana, or elsewhere — because the Yankees figured his value was at its peak.

    When they were pursuing free-agent center fielder Mike Cameron, the person said, the Yankees were planning to make room by trading Cabrera and sending Damon to Milwaukee (which eventually signed Cameron).

    • TurnTwo

      wow, that certainly wouldve made for a much busier offseason.

      i wonder what they were looking to get back for Damon in Milwaukee…

      • Do we really need another roid guy on the team?

        a salary dump and some kids I bet