Is Rick Ankiel a Good Fit for the New York Mets?

Nick Carlo@@carlo2612Analyst IIFebruary 1, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 24: Rick Ankiel #24 of the Washington Nationals reacts after striking out in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on September 24, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

With less than a month of the offseason left, teams are beginning to make their last-minute acquisitions. There are still a bunch of valuable players on the free-agent market, and the Mets are looking at a handful of the remaining free agents.

The Mets are monitoring some free agents closely than others; Rick Ankiel is one of them. The Mets have made it clear that they are looking for a left-handed bat to come off the bench. Ankiel is a lefty, and he would seemingly come at a cheap price.

Ankiel also has great fielding skills. His most notable skill in the field is his rocket of an arm. Ankiel is a former top pitching prospect, and although pitching didn't pan out for him, his arm has still contributed greatly to his career.

The National League East is a great league which has its share of speedy baserunners. Ankiel's arm could possibly save a couple of runs and limit Jose Reyes from turning doubles into triples.

The Mets are currently extremely thin with their left-handed bench players. Mike Baxter is one of the only notable left-handed batters on the Mets bench, and Baxter is a below-average player.

Rick Ankiel seems like a perfect fit for the New York Mets. Juan Pierre just recently signed a minor-league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, so that signing could possibly make Ankiel much easier for New York to sign.

Jason Bay, Andres Torres and Lucas Duda make up the Mets starting outfield, and Scott Hairston is currently the team's fourth outfielder. If one of those players goes down with an injury, the Mets would be in some serious trouble.

It is imperative for this team to sign a more than capable outfielder this offseason. The Mets have a huge amount of question marks going into this season, and they should be doing their best to patch up as many holes as possible before spring training arrives.

Ankiel won't blow anyone away with his ability, but he is certainly a decent ball player. He has a considerable amount of pop in his bat, and he also plays the outfield fantastically. It is not out of the question to expect a 10-home run, 40-RBI season for Ankiel.

If Ankiel is willing to accept a deal similar to Pierre's, then the Mets should most definitely make a run at signing him. He would complement Scott Hairston nicely on the bench, and he has the potential to be a valuable asset for New York.