Former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Mench signed with the Hanshin Tigers of the Central League in Japan.
Mench will fill the Tigers need of hard hitting right handed batter. The Tigers are rumored to sign Nelson Cruz before Mench, but apparently the Rangers wanted to keep Cruz since he ended the season on positive note.
Mench, who hit 26 home runs in 2004 and 25 home runs in 2005, is what the Tigers were looking for all season long.
Many players who go to Japan, is already passed their prime and plays horribly most of the time, but for Mench, I don't expect him to struggle, unless he can't hit breaking balls that the Japanese pitchers often uses.
The Tigers did not finish first after leading 13 games over the Yomiuri Giants. The Tigers lost in the first round of the Climax Series (same as the division series in MLB). The Tigers hitters could not beat the Chunichi Dragons pitchers in the series, so the Tigers needed a power hitter.
Mench played for the Texas Rangers until he got traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Carlos Lee. He was non tendered by the Brewers later, and the Blue Jays signed him this year.