Trading in red for blue
A powder blue jersey and hat awaited Rick Ankiel at his introductory press conference. He was equally ready for the occasion, with a blue shirt and tie to go with his navy suit. Ankiel was a month shy of 18 when the Cardinals drafted him in 1997. Today, Ankiel officially moved across the state after spending his entire adult life with the Cardinals organization.
The pitcher turned outfielder sees Kansas City as an up and coming organization. He wants to play centerfield everyday. The Marlins, Nationals and Yankees made a push for his services, but the Royals presented him with the opportunity to play centerfield. Ankiel is excited to play alongside an athletic outfield that includes David DeJesus in right and Scott Podsednik in left. He will miss fans and friends in St. Louis, however, a fresh start is on his mind for 2010 after an injury sidetracked him in 2009.
Dayton Moore comments
Dayton Moore wanted to add defense, speed and athleticism this offseason. He sees Ankiel as a special athlete, one who can make the play that fans will love. Moore said that Ankiel and Podsednik were two of the best athletes in the free agent pool. Media members were also welcome to ask Moore about the offseason in general. He noted that the Royals have more pitching depth this year than in the past. He sees a group of players that he trusts to compete and prepare on a day in, day out basis. Moore believes that the core group is in place for 2010 but his staff is always looking at opportunities that arise.