Yankees have some interest in Rick Ankiel


Via Adam Kilgore, the Yankees have some interest the recently designated for assignment Rick Ankiel. We heard the exact opposite yesterday, that they had no interest in the outfielder, but the dynamic changed a bit after Nick Swisher left last night’s game with a mild left hip flexor. Besides, contradictory reports are the backbone of the rumor mill.

Ankiel, 33, posted a 76 wRC+ in 171 plate appearances for the Nationals this season. He can still hold his own against righties (95 wRC+ since 2010) but not lefties (44), so he’s a platoon guy only. Ankiel can play the two corner outfield spots fine and fake center on occasion, plus he has that rocket arm. The Yankees would assume the remainder of his $1.25M salary by claiming him off waivers. I’m not much of a fan but the Yankees could do worse if Swisher needs his first DL stint since 2005.

Categories : Asides, Trade Deadline


  1. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    How much worse could Chris Dickerson be?

    • Brian S. says:

      Dickerson would be better than Ankiel. By a lot. He can play center, run, and is an above average hitter against righties.

      • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too) says:

        Dickerson vs. RHP 2009-2011 in MLB
        394 PA, .700 OPS, .314 wOBA, 88 wRC+

        He might hit above average against righties if called up, he might not.
        A big part of his career success against righties came in 2008, and hasn’t really been duplicated at the MLB level since (granted in mostly sporadic SSS).

        That said, I agree Dickerson should be given a shot ahead of Ankiel.

    • Dan says:

      I think the main reason they don’t want to call up Dickerson or Fukudome is that they know they lack upper level outfield depth and the guys in AAA have ML experience and might not make it through waivers to be sent back down to the minors. By getting Ankiel for nothing they can keep their outfield depth and add to it for just the short time that Swisher will be out and then if Ankiel is successful maybe he replaces Wise.

  2. Brian S. says:

    Swisher hurt again? But I thought Beltran was the one who was going to be injured!

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Give him time, still ten weeks of the season left.

      • blake says:

        Aside from the microfracture injury which cost him time….how much has Beltran really been hurt in his career?….not much….played 140+ games in 9 of last 11 seasons (the 2 he didn’t were because of the knee) and he’s on pace to do so again this year for the 2nd straight year…..looks pretty durable to me overall.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          He was extremely durable for a long time, then his knees gave out on him. What he did from age 21-30 isn’t very relevant when talking about his health now. A-Rod was crazy durable too once upon a time.

          • blake says:

            no but what he’s done the last 2 years is….I don’t see Alex and him as being that comparable. Beltran had the knee which he’s past and that’s pretty much it….Alex has had a lot of different things to deal with. Beltran played 142 last year and has already played 89 this year. Alex hasn’t played 140 games since 2007

  3. Brian S. says:

    But seriously. If we sign Ankiel instead of calling up Dickerson then I give up.

    • Gonzo says:

      Give up what?

    • Travelbug83 says:

      You and me both. This team can be so frustrating at times…

      • Mike Axisa says:

        I know, hate all these wins. I’d rather watch Chris Dickerson for a week so they can release him when Swisher gets healthy.

        • Travelbug83 says:

          I am not talking about being frustrated with the overall team performance but the way they handle the “kids”.

          • BigDavey88 says:

            Chris Dickerson is in no way shape or form a prospect. Isn’t he 30?

            • Travelbug83 says:

              That’s what the quotation marks are for…
              How about I am frustrated about how they handle their farm system.

              • Get Phelps Up says:

                Dickerson’s a 30 year old career AAAA player who likely has no future with the team. It’s not like they’re holding back a Mike Trout or anyone.

                • Travelbug83 says:

                  Exactly. He has no future with this team. Trade him to some NL team that will give him a fair shot. Don’t make a 30 year old bum around in the minors when you have no intend of ever using him.

                  • Get Phelps Up says:

                    There’s no reason to trade away OF depth when you won’t get anything significant in return.

                  • RetroRob says:

                    He’s there for depth. He’ll have his freedom at the end of this season, just as Greg Golson got his freedom card.

                    The difference is Dickerson can actually play on the MLB level. Not great, but he can contribute. It would be crazy to simply cut him now because you’re not happy is sitting in AAA.

                  • Travelbug83 says:

                    Hah, and here I thought the Yankees should only do things that make ME happy.

                    But seriously, why accumulate OF depth if you are not ever going to use it but instead keep claiming washed up players off waivers. I am not sure how far down the Yankees are on the waiver line, but it must be pretty far. So whatever they get off waivers a ton of teams have passed on before them, for probably a good reason.

                  • Steve (different one) says:

                    What a ridiculous argument. The Yankees put him through waivers, all 29 teams passed. That’s what you do when no one wants you, you “bum around AAA”

                    • Travelbug83 says:

                      What a ridiculous argument indeed. You obviously don’t understand much about waivers and timing so no point in arguing here.

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

          What’s the difference if they release Dickerson in 10 days or at the end of the season? He probably won’t stick around next year in Scranton.

        • NYCSPORTZFAN says:

          At some point u gotta give these guys chances, or u never will know.. Heck, i’d rather have Cole Garner over Ankiel.. I sad the same thing about Mcdonald, and all he did was hurt us wit his D and Bat.. I’d take Zolio Almonte straight from Double AA before thinking of giving Ankiel a at bat.. I’d rather have Joe Girardi in there before thinking of giving Ankiiel the SO/low BA/ Not nearly enough power to make up for his faults/ bum..

      • Dan says:

        Why should they bring up Dickerson? It just hurts their depth in the long-run. They don’t need to win every game right now, and calling up Dickerson might hurt them if they need him later in the year. Here is a hypothetical situation for you… The Yankees put Swish on the DL and call up Dickerson, Swisher comes back in 2 weeks and Dickerson gets designated for assignment and another team picks him up, five days later Swisher or Granderson gets injured again, then what do you do? Why not just get Ankiel for nothing and you won’t care losing him if another team picks him up when Swisher comes back?

  4. Brian S. says:

    He stinky.

  5. AC says:

    Sign Ankiel. Maybe Long can fix his swing who knows. It’s a no risk move. If Dickerson was do good he would have been called up by now. Just like Jack Cust who is murdering AAA wont get call up unless injury bug hits us big time.

  6. RetroRob says:

    Maybe the conflicting reports means they don’t have an interest in him until he clears waivers.

  7. James d. says:

    From the perspective of seeing 10 or so Nats games in person each year (which means I don’t know much, I realize), Ankiel is exactly the same player as he was in 2011 — solid flexibility in the field, will hit some mistakes and nothing else. The difference is that this year, the Nats can use Harper, Tyler Moore and Steve Lombardozzi, with a little Roger Bernadina, instead of giving Ankiel 400+ PAs like last year.

    His CF defense really doesn’t seem that bad, though, and he’d be perfectly fine in the bigger Yankee Stadium left field. Still, I have trouble imagining him getting any better.

  8. TH says:

    Put him in the bullpen.

  9. Hoss says:

    Would it be possible for us to pick up someone who was not another team’s discards? I’m not saying overpay, but if Ankiel, Qualls, McDonald is what we’re getting, then use Mustelier, Dickerson, Ortiz and others that we already have. What are they being saved for?

    • Travelbug83 says:

      This. Thank you.

    • 28 this year says:

      Eppley was another team’s discard adn turned out pretty good. Melky Cabrera was discarded and he used that as motivation to be good and see that. Other teams might not see things that the Yanks see. Freddy Garcia was seen as done and discarded as was Colon adn they turned out great.

      • Hoss says:

        Eppley was the exception to the rule, as was Wade. Sooner or later, there will be regression to the mean, i.e. Qualls, McDonald, Gaudin, Mitre, Proctor II…

    • Jacob says:

      I would say it is because cashman is so good at making those discards usefull for us one mans trash is another mans treasure, but with that being said FREE RONNIE

      • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too) says:

        Ronnie is on the DL

      • Hoss says:

        Cashman is NOT a good judge of talent. Look at what was given up for 2 months of Bergman: Paredes and Melancon AND absorbing a ridiculous salary. He gave up on Clippard, Cabrera and a few others because he is not a great horse trader or judge of FA talent. The safety net is HUGE and he relies on it.

        • Hoss says:

          Excuse the typo: Berkman… aka Fat Elvis, Puma, etc…

        • Bunt Gardner says:

          Well, if you say so.

          • Hoss says:

            Heck, just my .02. Some folks think he is great. I think that we could have done more with a lot of the talent we had in the minors ourselves and made some bad FA moves as well as trades.

            • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too) says:

              That applies to every GM. He’s made some very good moves and he’s made some very bad moves. Probably about an average GM overall, considering the resource advantage he has.

              • Hoss says:

                If we had a player of that quality, would you keep him or seek to upgrade?

                • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too) says:

                  For a player, it depends, not every player is going to be a star, finite resources might make staying put with an average player a good move. It would depend on the cost and extent of the upgrade.

                  For a GM, I’d seek an upgrade, but not blindly. How do you know that the replacement GM wouldn’t be below average? What available GM is a definite upgrade? If their isn’t a clear, obvious, definite upgrade available, I’d rather they stay with the solid, but unspectacular, job done by Cashman, rather than just randomly hiring guys just hoping they might be better. I’d have no problem with them trying to upgrade the GM, but I think it would be a mistake to make a change just for the sake of making a change.

                  • Hoss says:

                    I agree with everything you said. Kevin Towers, in my opinion, would have been a major upgrade over Cashman, especially approaching this $189 million threshold. He is a good judge of talent, horse trader, and budget conscious. He is trading Upton for the same reason Colorado trade Jimenez… “look out below…”
                    There are others out there, but Cashman does not impress me with either his results or his off-the-field stuff which probably would not be tolerated by The Boss in light of his record

                    • Zack D says:

                      Yeah cause “The Boss” had no off-the-field issues at all. I mean if The Boss ever had off-the-field issue, then I’m sure The Boss would fire The Boss.

        • YanksFanInBeantown says:

          Paredes and Melancon suck…

          If that trade is your go-to example of Cashman not being a good GM, he’s doing a pretty damn good job. Remember, the man got Nick Swisher for Wilson Betemit.

          • Steve (different one) says:

            His other evidence is the fact that Justin Upton won’t be good in the future, therefore Towers is better than Cashman. QED

  10. MikedJones says:


  11. Hoss says:

    Maybe he can do u, but he can’t do CF, and he is mediocre at best.

  12. Robinson Tilapia says:

    I knew a 54-comment thread related to Rick Ankiel would mean nothing good. Brain cells died reading some of this.

    • Steve (different one) says:

      Did you know that in 15 years Cashman has traded away some decent players? And that Steinbrenner never would have tolerated his off the field issues. You know that from the way he never hired Billy Martin, Darryl strawberry and Dwight Gooden.

  13. Marcy says:

    No chance they go for X-man and not Ankiel? I know they would do better with a CFer but for now they could use Nady – he can play 1st & RF + they know him.

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