Royals Sign Rick Ankiel

The Royals officially signed outfielder Rick Ankiel to a one-year, $3.25MM deal today.  The contract has a second-year mutual option worth $6MM, and Ankiel can earn up to $500K in incentives this year.  Yahoo's Tim Brown first tweeted news of the agreement Thursday night, with Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports following the next day with the incentives.

Back on December 10th, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweeted that Scott Boras wanted three years and "big money" for Ankiel, but ultimately he settled for an unsurprising contract.  Ankiel also drew interest from the Cubs, Pirates, and Red Sox this winter.

Ankiel will try to rebuild value in Kansas City after slipping to a .231/.285/.387 line for the Cardinals in 2009.  The 30-year-old's maladies included a sore Achilles tendon, a deep shoulder bruise, and a groin strain.  The shoulder injury, suffered in May, came from a headfirst collision with a wall and lingered most of the season. 

A converted pitcher, Ankiel has experience at all three outfield positions but predominantly played center field.  He'll join Scott Podsednik, David DeJesus, and possibly Brian Anderson in the Royals' outfield, with Jose Guillen presumably serving as designated hitter.

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