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Rick Ankiel signs with Mets

Rick Ankiel in a 2005 file photo.

Rick Ankiel in a 2005 file photo. Credit: AP

The Mets added some power to their slumping lineup by signing outfielder Rick Ankiel to a major league deal.

The pitcher-turned-outfielder is a streaky hitter who strikes out a lot, but is also a legitimate home run threat. The Astros designated Ankiel for assignment last week after hitting .194 with five home runs. He’s a .243 career batter with 74 home runs in 11 seasons.

Ankiel is also an asset in the outfield, where he brings good range and a strong arm to center and right field.

To make room on the roster, the Mets optioned outfielder Andrew Brown to Las Vegas and transfered Jenrry Mejia to the 60-Day disabled list. Brown had gone 3-for-15 with one home run in a brief stint with the Mets this season.

Ankiel began his career as a pitcher for the Cardinals, but switched to being a position player after developing severe control problems that famously plagued him during the 2000 playoffs.

New York Sports