The Washington Nationals made a small bit of news just minutes before the beginning of the Super Bowl. The team has signed part-time center field starter Rick Ankiel to a minor-league contract, according to Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.
Little #nats news before the big game: Per a source, the #nationals have signed Rick Ankiel to a minor league deal w/ST invite.— Amanda Comak (@acomak) February 5, 2012
Ankiel hit .236 with nine home runs and 37 RBIs in 122 appearances for the Nationals last season. He will compete with signee Mike Cameron and lefty Roger Bernadina for the center field job in spring training. However, most believe all three are just keeping the spot warm for Jayson Werth, who will likely move to center field once Bryce Harper is ready for the Major Leagues.
For more on Ankiel and the Washington Nationals' offseason, visit our Nationals blog Federal Baseball.