VIERA FL - FEBRUARY 25: Rick Ankiel #43 of the Washington Nationals poses for a portrait during Spring Training Photo Day at Space Coast Stadium on February 25 2011 in Viera Florida. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Thanks to Adam Kilgore and good ol' Twitter, stories are popping up everywhere that the Yankees have interest in outfielder Rick Ankiel, recently DFA'd by the Washington Nationals. When the news broke that the .228/.282/.411-hitting Ankiel would be leaving the Nats earlier in the week, I responded with this tweet:
Rick Ankiel has hit .234/.295/.383 over his last ~400 games, is 32. If this is tea, please bring me some coffee, but if this is coffee...— Steven Goldman (@GoStevenGoldman) July 19, 2012
That pretty much sums up the story for me. Ankiel can stand around in all three outfields without looking terribly out of place, and he's left-handed and can reach the seats sometimes, which means that like all left-handed hitters he will suddenly look like a magnificent specimen of manhood if placed in front of Yankee Stadium's short right field porch. That's not without value--better to have players on your bench that can take advantage of that wall than players that can't--but given his general non-hitting since 2008, including .240/.304/.415 rates against right-handed pitching (30 home runs in 870 at-bats) there is nothing here that argues for more than a break-glass-in-case-of-feeling-desperate role.