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Rick Ankiel signs minor league contract with Astros

Jan 17, 2013, 5:17 PM EDT

ankiel getty wide Getty Images

Rick Ankiel is the latest former Cardinal to join the Astros, agreeing to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Ankiel briefly thrived after shifting from pitcher to outfielder, but he’s really struggled for the past four seasons while hitting just .234 with a .678 OPS in 386 games.

He can play all three outfield spots and (obviously) has a great arm, but Ankiel is now 33 years old and the highest OPS he posted from 2009-2012 was .709. He’ll compete for a bench gig.

  1. stex52 - Jan 17, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Wow! And I was worried. The Astros’ problems are over!

    Though, sadly, if he can manage a .673 OPS he will be in the mix this year.

    • dcfan4life - Jan 17, 2013 at 7:16 PM

      At least even if he hits like the rest of the team he will improve their defense drastically.

    • dondada10 - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:36 PM

      Could be worse, Stex. He’d probably be the Mets’ best outfielder this year.

  2. cardinalcrazy - Jan 17, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Didn’t Ankiel saying something about being interesting in pitching again. Why not try again, it’s not like it could hurt any.

  3. dwrek5 - Jan 17, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Smart move, prolly the only person in the league that can throw someone out from Tal’s hill. Make it happen ‘Stros!

  4. digbysellers - Jan 17, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    What’s the point of an obviously rebuilding team signing a washed up, never really was outfielder??? This is why this team is stinky poo!

    • tfbuckfutter - Jan 17, 2013 at 6:59 PM

      I was going to answer this question earnestly but then you ended with “this team is stinky poo!” and I had no choice but to thumbs up it and leave it at that.

    • dan1111 - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:20 AM

      Even a rebuilding team needs players. Will Ankiel be blocking a legitimate prospect? A quick look at the Astros’ depth chart says absolutely not.

      Ankiel is exactly the type of player they should look at to fill out their roster. He won’t cost them any money, and in fact they don’t even need to guarantee him a contract. It is much worse when a rebuilding team spends a significant chunk of money on a fairly good player, when the season isn’t going to matter anyway.

  5. okwhitefalcon - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    I can’t wait til the ‘Stros sign Colby Rasmus next year after the Jays non tender him.

  6. jeffa43 - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    Former Larusa roid fraud…. Don’t like it. Interested if he can pitch.

  7. sfm073 - Jan 18, 2013 at 5:48 AM

    The guy can’t hit a curve to save his life.

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