Royals agree to a one-year contract with Rick Ankiel
It’s official…the Royals have announced that the club has agreed to a one-year Major League contract for the 2010 season with outfielder Rick Ankiel. The contract also includes a mutual option for 2011. Consistent with club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. A corresponding 40-man roster move will be made once the contract has been confirmed.
The 30-year old Ankiel began his Major League career as a decorated left-handed pitcher before converting full-time to the outfield prior to the 2005 season. The left-handed batter is a career .251 hitter with 49 home runs and 157 RBI in 342 games for the St. Louis Cardinals. The 6-foot-1 210-pounder hit .264 in 2008 for St. Louis, belting 25 home runs and joining Babe Ruth as the second player in baseball history to hit 25 or more home runs in a season while having previously started 25 or more games as a pitcher. His 2008 season came on the heels of a breakout 2007 campaign in which he recorded a combined 43 home runs for Triple-A Memphis (32) and St. Louis (11). Ankiel appeared in 122 games for the Cardinals in 2009, hitting .231 with 11 home runs and 38 RBI.
As a pitcher, Ankiel was 11-7 with a 3.50 ERA at the age of 20 in his rookie season of 2000, finishing second in the National League in Rookie of the Year voting (Rafael Furcal-ATL). He was named The Sporting News Rookie Pitcher of the Year, recording 194 strikeouts in 175.0 innings.
Ankiel will be introduced at a press conference later today. Check back for a summary.