The Washington Nationals have designated outfielder Rick Ankiel for assignment, and Peter Gammons of MLB Network suggests that Ankiel would be a "great fit" for the New York Yankees?
Is that the case?
The Yankees have reportedly been looking for an outfielder with speedy left fielder Brett Gardner possibly done for the season due to an elbow injury. The Yankees have reportedly talked to the Philadelphia Phillies about veteran outfielder Shane Victorino. The 31-year-old Victorino is in the final year of a three-year deal worth $22 million and might be too expensive for the suddenly budget-conscious Yankees, both financially and in terms of prospects New York would have to surrender.
Picking up a player like the 33-year-old Ankiel, making $1.25 million this season, seems to be more in line with the way general manager Brian Cashman is conducting business for the Yankees these days. The Yankees, who have the best record in baseball, have had success this season with a number veteran players they have hauled off the baseball scrap heap. Outfielder DeWayne Wise, utility man Jayson Nix and relief pitchers Cody Eppley and Clay Rapada have all contributed for New York.
Veterans Raul Ibanez (.242, 12 home runs, 40 RBI) and Andruw Jones (.241, 12 homers, 26 RBI) have gotten most of the playing time in left field (helped by Nix and Wise) and have done well. New York, though, would seemingly like an additional piece to allow Ibanez and Jones to DH more.
Ankiel's offensive output has declined quite a bit since 2008, when he hit .264 for the St. Louis Cardinals and set career-highs with 25 homers and 71 RBI. Last season he hit only .239 with 9 home runs and 37 RBI in 122 games. He was hitting just .228 with 5 home runs and 15 RBI in 68 games this season when he was designated for assignment.
Ankiel, however, remains an above average defensive outfielder with a terrific throwing arm. He has experience in all three outfield spots.