New York Yankees: Should the Bombers Look into Rick Ankiel for Outfield Help?

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IJuly 19, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 23: Rick Ankiel #24 of the Washington Nationals returns to the dugout after striking out in the second inning of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on May 23, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)
Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images

With the trade deadline less than two weeks away, we've all speculated as to what the Yankees will do.

By the time July 31 rolls around, the rumors are so rampant and furious it's hard to keep up.

The Yankees would prefer not to make a trade if general manager Brian Cashman can help it. If it were up to him, he'd keep the team as is and go into the second half with what they have.

But with injuries to Brett Gardner and Andy Pettitte, it could change Cashman's stance on the trade deadline and sticking with the team as is.

With the recent news of Gardner being shut down again and potentially being out for the remainder of the 2012 season, the Yankees really could use some extra outfield help.

Peter Gammons of had a suggestion to help the Yankees' outfield:

Rick Ankiel would be a great fit for the Yankees

— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) July 19, 2012

Ankiel was with the Washington Nationals up until they designated him for assignment, which means Washington GM Mike Rizzo has 10 days to trade or release Rick Ankiel.

Ankiel was hitting .228 with five home runs and 15 RBI in 68 games played in 2012, but he was designated when the team had to bring back Drew Storen from the disabled list.

Ankiel was signed for a one-year deal worth $1.25 million, which is not a lot to add on to any team's payroll, especially the Yankees.

If Cashman wanted to take a flier on Ankiel and see how he works out, it's not a horrible decision.

He still does have Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones, who so far have worked out splitting time between the left field and DH spots, but both are veteran players who can't get overworked since they were both supposed to be DH-types.

But due to the injury to Gardner, the Yankees had to improvise, and so far, it's paid off.

If the Yankees want to make a deep run into October, they can't burn out both Ibanez and Jones so much that they can't contribute anything in the postseason.

They have been linked to having interest in Arizona's Justin Upton and Philadelphia's Shane Victorino (per CBS Sports), but trying to trade for either of them could cost the Yankees players whom they probably wouldn't want to trade.

Ankiel, on the other hand, would barely cost the Yankees anything—maybe a low-level prospect at best.

Playing at Yankee Stadium might spark some power for Ankiel, who is a lefty hitter, and the short porch in right field could be a nice target for him to aim for.

If the Yankees are honestly looking to make improvements but don't want to trade away decent prospects, then Ankiel may be the way to go.

Will Cashman follow Gammons' advice and look into the former pitcher, now outfielder?

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.


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