Phils Get Garcia; Is Mench Next?

Kevin Mench

The Phillies have misfired on several free agent fronts this off-season. Late Wednesday night though, the Phillies and White Sox hooked up on a deal to send pitcher Freddy Garcia to the Phillies. A deal with Milwaukee could follow.

Consider one shoe to have dropped and the other may be on its way down. The Phillies and White Sox pulled off a four player deal late Wednesday night, bringing pitcher Freddy Garcia to the Phillies. While it was rumored that the Phillies would have to give up Aaron Rowand in a deal to get Garcia, they apparently were able to make the deal without involving Rowand. Gavin Floyd will head to the White Sox along with a player to be named later, who will likely be former White Sox prospect Giovany Gonzalez.

With the deal between the Phillies and White Sox complete, another rumored deal between the Phillies and Brewers could soon follow. The Phillies have pursued Kevin Mench before when he was a member of the Texas Rangers. Now, he's in Milwaukee and the Phillies are working to bring the veteran outfielder to the City of Brotherly Love.

Reports out of the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida have the Phillies and Brewers completing a deal, which could go down now that the Phillies have acquired a starting pitcher. The second deal involves another long-rumored trade with the Chicago White Sox. The two deals were contingent on each other because the Phillies would effectively open one hole in the deal with Milwaukee and immediately close it with the White Sox deal.

Here's how the pending deal with Milwaukee would shape up.

The Phillies would send starter Jon Lieber and another player - rumored to possibly be reliever Ryan Madson - to Milwaukee for Mench and reliever Jose Capellan. Some reports have the Brewers inserting former Phillies' prospect Derrick Turnbow in place of Capellan.

Sending Lieber to Milwaukee would have created a hole in the starting rotation and that hole would have been gaping with Floyd also being dealt. Acquiring Freddy Garcia gives the Phillies a little depth in the rotation, allowing them to deal Lieber. The Phillies were also thought to be interested in Javier Vazquez or Mark Buehrle. Vazquez had previously opted out of deals to send him to the Phillies, invoking his no-trade clause.

Mench, who turns 29 on January 7, is a career .271 hitter, who hit 13 homeruns with a .269 average last season with the Rangers and Brewers. The right-handed hitting Mench hit .303 against left-handers and .257 against right-handers last season. The Phillies may look to pair him up with a left-handed hitting outfielder to take advantage of Mench's ability to hit lefties.

Capellan turns 26 in January and pitched a career-high 71.2 innings for Milwaukee last season. The right-hander was 4-2 with a 4.40 ERA and has a career mark of 5-4, 4.72 in 81 major league games with Atlanta and Milwaukee. Turnbow, who was lost to the Angels in the Rule 5 Draft in 2000, has 63 saves over the past two seasons with Milwaukee. After saving 39 games with just two blown saves and a 1.74 ERA in 2005 Turnbow suffered through a season that saw his ERA balloon to 6.87 last season, but he still saved 24 games with 8 blown saves.

The deal with Milwaukee is thought to have been agreed upon, but the Brewers are giving the Phillies time to pursue a deal for another starting pitcher to replace Lieber. The Orioles are also pursuing Mench if the deal between the Brewers and Phillies doesn't fall apart. The White Sox were thought to have been demanding Rowand, who was a big part of the White Sox World Championship team in 2005, but apparently backed off of that move deciding to add pitching depth instead.

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