Outfielder Mench back with Rangers, signing minor league deal

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Free-agent outfielder Kevin Mench signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

He will go to spring training with another chance to play for the team where he made his major league debut.

Mench was drafted by the Rangers in 1999, then played in Texas from 2002 until being part of a six-player trade in July 2006 that sent him to Milwaukee and outfielder Carlos Lee to the Rangers.

Last season, Mench hit .267 with eight home runs and 37 RBIs in 101 games for the Brewers.

With the Rangers, Mench had back-to-back 25-homer seasons in 2004 and 2005. He set a major league record for a right-handed batter in April 2006 when he homered in seven straight games.

In June 2005 against the Los Angeles Angels, he became only the second player in AL history to hit homers in three consecutive innings.

This offseason, the Rangers signed free-agent right fielder Milton Bradley and acquired center fielder Josh Hamilton in a trade from Cincinnati. There are also four other outfielders returning from last year's roster: Marlon Byrd, Frank Catalanotto, Nelson Cruz and David Murphy.

Cruz, who came to Texas from Milwaukee in that 2006 trade, hit .235 with nine homers and 34 RBIs in 96 games last season.