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Royals ink Rick Ankiel to one-year contract

ankiel smiling.JPG

According 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.