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Royals ink Rick Ankiel to one-year contract

Jan 21, 2010, 11:55 PM EDT

ankiel smiling.JPGAccording to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the Royals and outfielder Rick
Ankiel have agreed to terms on a one-year, $3.25 million contract with a $6 million mutual option for 2011.

Scott Boras strikes again.  Ankiel seems like a fine human being and we should all applaud his transformation from headcase pitcher to homer-hitting outfielder, but his days as an effective everyday player are through.  The guy has far too many holes in his swing.  He hit just .231 last season with a .285 on-base percentage over 404 plate appearances and struck out 99 times.  Oh, and he turns 31 this season.  To add such a lucrative mutual option was silly, whether or not it’s ever exercised.

Let’s look on the bright side for just a minute, though.  Ankiel does boast one of the strongest throwing arms in the league and has compiled decent UZR/150 marks at the corner outfield positions.  He has also pieced together a .254/.324/.469 batting line against right-handed pitchers over the last three seasons.  If used correctly, maybe — just maybe — he can have a positive impact on the 2010 edition of the Kansas City Royals.  It’s not like that offense can get any worse.

  1. Deeply concerned - Jan 22, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    Why Can’t the Cardinals keep the good players. Since the win in the World Series, they have lost pitchers, Sosa, and many others?Same in football. Teams that reach the Super Bowl invariably lose their best receivers or linebackers the next year. Why can’t they keep them?

  2. JBerardi - Jan 22, 2010 at 2:18 AM

    What’s the point of this? So that the Royals can be slightly less terrible (maybe) and hurt their draft position the next year? Is Dayton Moore not even pretending to have a plan anymore?

  3. willmose - Jan 22, 2010 at 7:19 AM

    Ankiel has a big up side IF he can stay healthy. Moving to the junior circuit, will help as well. Why did he leave the Cardinals? Ankiel needs to play every day if he can. The Royals will give him a shot. The $6 million option could be a steal.

  4. Charles Gates - Jan 22, 2010 at 8:22 AM

    Seems like a good signing for KC. In ballpark (ha) figures, a marginal win above replacement is about $5MM on the free agent market. So, Ankiel needs to provide 60% of a win for the contract to ‘even out’ in 2010. Without doing the math, seems like his defense should cover that even if his Jimmy Rollins-esque OBP drags down his offensive contribution.

  5. Richard Dansky - Jan 22, 2010 at 8:27 AM

    You just used the words “if used correctly” and “Kansas City Royals” in the same post.

  6. Joey B - Jan 22, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    Relative to most other DM moves recently, this one is okay. He has 20+ HR power and decent fielder. Besides, I think the Royals have all the sub-.300 OPS guys locked up, so this might be the last of the DM signings.

  7. Dave - Jan 22, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    I like the move, have been asking for it from the Gods for a while. Not a huge investment in a guy who has good power, and can be fairly productive if healthy and bounces back a bit. I really don’t care if he gets us three more wins or not, frankly, I rather really suck and have a shot at a guy like Rendon in the ’11 draft, but from an organizational standpoint its not a bad move. If he gets off to a hot start and shows that amazing arm a couple times early, it will bring people to the park. They may still lose most or all of the games that Zack and Gil don’t pitch, thats okay. He may give the fans something new to get excited about during games. My wife son and I are going to make the 14 hour pilgrimage from Buffalo to KC again this summer, and I for one want to see him really unload that arm a couple of times. If he does have a good 1/2, there is the option of trading him at the deadline, although Moore will blow any opportunities to so. If he can have a solid year, pick up the 6 mil option and slide him in to right for another year, you may get better production that Guillen and Guillen’s woeful contract will be off the books, so at 1/2 the price you will be getting better D and similar offense.
    What does not make sense, is why did we sign Scott Podsednick? Really? We could have played Ankiel in CF, probably would give us better D and Scotty Pods. Again, Mr. Moore, you take two steps back for every step forward.

  8. James - Jan 22, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    People seem to be ignoring the word “mutual”. The article says that the contract has a “mutual option” for 2011. Ankiel has to agree to it as well as the Royals. If he bounces back with a really good year he’ll quite likely see what he can get on the market. The Royals aren’t going to get a “steal”. Because if his market value goes higher than $6 million, he won’t exercise his side of it.

  9. Dave - Jan 22, 2010 at 4:57 PM

    Thanks James, you are correct, but even .260, .340, .475 wont land him a huge deal so he may want to stay for six, but you are correct in my case I did forget about the “mutual” part of that

  10. Harry David - Feb 11, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    Wow! what an idea ! What a concept ! Beautiful .. Amazing …

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