Nats sign Ankiel

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:30 PM ET

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals have reportedly signed outfielder Rick Ankiel to a one-year contract.

The signing will be made official once Ankiel passes a physical, according to MLB.com.

Ankiel hit a combined .232 with six home runs and 24 RBI with Kansas City and Atlanta last season. He missed part of the season because of a hamstring injury.

The 31-year-old began his big league career as a left-handed pitcher for the Cardinals and was the runner up for the National League Rookie of the Year in 2000. However, the wheels came off for him in the 2000 postseason, when he walked four and threw five wild pitches in the third inning of Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves before struggling again in a start against the Mets in the NLCS.

Knee and elbow injuries shortly thereafter led to his decision to abandon pitching. Surprisingly, he returned to the Cardinals as an outfielder and made his debut for St. Louis in the field towards the end of the 2007 campaign.

For his career, the former hurler is a .248 hitter and has 55 home runs to go along with 181 RBI.


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