The only thing missing, it seems, is a lefty-hitting, flexible outfielder who can be brought in on the cheap.
Enter Rick Ankiel. So, what exactly are the Mets waiting for?
For a team in search of some spunk and grit, Ankiel could provide the Mets just what they need. Ankiel is an above-average defensive center fielder with a rocket-cannon of an arm. While he has his offensive flaws, Ankiel has the intangibles to be a productive member of a team in need of some grit.
For his career, Ankiel is .246 hitter with 64 home runs and 218 RBI’s in 540 games, while also boasting a .309 OBP and .423 slugging percentage. Sure, those are not eye-opening numbers, but for a team that is looking to sign a relatively cheap free agent, Ankiel’s skill-set matches what the Mets are looking for.
Ankiel is athletic enough to play all outfield positions and he could be great insurance in case the Mets’ newest addition Andres Torres can’t hold up for a full season in center.
With the Mets’ starting outfield of Torres, Jason Bay and Lucas Duda all but set and Scott Hairston being the power-hitting righty off the bench, the Mets desperately need a lefty off the bench who has some semblance of power. This is where having Ankiel at your disposal helps.
But let’s not forget what Ankiel’s calling card is. That would be his defense and his arm. Last year, Ankiel had one error in 243 defensive chances, good for a .996 fielding percentage.
Ankiel would be a perfect fit for Citi Field’s dimensions. And considering the injury history of Torres and Bay, this potential signing just seems natural. Plus, when you factor in Duda’s subpar play in right field, a guy like Ankiel to fill in late in games for defense is beyond beneficial.
In summation, this move makes all the sense in the world. Here’s to hoping Sandy Alderson and the Mets can work out the finances and come to terms with Ankiel. If they do, Ankiel will immediately become a fan favorite.
Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon