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Mench agrees to $2.8 million deal with Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Outfielder Kevin Mench agreed to a $2.8
million contract Friday with the Texas Rangers, who again will
avoid having any arbitration hearings.

Mench can also earn an additional $50,000 in performance
bonuses: $25,000 each for 600 and 640 plate appearances.
The Rangers haven't had an arbitration case go to a hearing
since 2000. Mench's deal came a week after former All-Star pitcher
Vicente Padilla ($4.41 million) and outfielder Gary Matthews Jr.
($2,387,500) agreed to one-year deals.
Eligible for arbitration for the first time, Mench had sought
$3.05 million after hitting .264 with 25 home runs and 73 RBIs in
149 games last season. The Rangers had offered $2.45 million.
Last season, Mench made $345,000 for the second year in a row.
He hit .279 with 26 homers and 71 RBIs in 125 games in 2004.
In four seasons for Texas, Mench has a .277 average with 68 home
runs and 215 RBIs in 423 games. He became a starter as a rookie in
2002, then was hitting .320 after 38 games the following year when
a broken left wrist ended his season.