Rick Ankiel: Cheap power for a weird organization?

I swore I wasn't going to do another "What about this free agent?" post, but they're like crack. I'll get this over with, n00b-FanPost-style:

What about Rick Ankiel? He's a low-OBP, low-BA hacker with serious power who was busted for HGH, but didn't fall off a cliff until the season after, so maybe the decline is unrelated, but he'd be cheap on a one-year deal, and his wOBA was just above .360 the previous two years, yet his defense isn't great shakes, though his arm is tops, and left-handed hitters usually don't hit for power in San Francisco, but maybe Ankiel is an exception. Thoughts????

Ugh. I hate the offseason. What's even worse is that when rosterbating, you have to look at things from the Giants' warped perspective. "So, assuming that Eugenio Velez is a leadoff hitter and corner outfielder worth starting, and assuming that John Bowker is not a good soldier who can help a baseball team by soldiering, what free agents should we look at?"

Rick Ankiel doesn't make sense on a team that should give Bowker a chance to be a cheap, OBP-friendly Ankiel. But you know what they say about hitters who don't like Venezuela: they will consume your team from the inside out like little nanobots shaped like piranha-dogs. I think Earl Weaver used to say that. Makes sense. Why judge a player on a full AAA season when you can judge the player on their willingness to spend their winter in a country with one of the worst murder rates in the world? Man up, and don't get murdered, Nancy.

But if the Giants are going to ignore the existence of Fred Lewis, if Bowker doesn't have a chance to get 400 at-bats with the Giants, and if Nate Schierholtz just swung at a slider that hit his back leg, the Giants will need an outfielder or two. Eugenio Velez is currently penciled in as a starter, despite not having a baseball-related skill (other than raw speed) that's even average.

Eugenio Velez is currently penciled in as a starter, despite not having a baseball-related skill (other than raw speed) that's even average.

When you put it that way, sure, you'll start thinking about players like Ankiel, Xavier Nady, and Ryan Church. What's even more frightening is that Eugenio Velez is currently penciled in as a starter, despite not having a baseball-related skill (other than raw speed) that's even average. So I wouldn't be devastated by a one-year, show-me deal to a guy like Ankiel, who's one of the few players on the market capable of hitting 30 homers for less than $5M. It doesn't make sense until you fall down the rabbit hole in front of the Giants' executive offices, but once you're down, you start hoping for things like this.

What would make the decision easier, though, is if I knew what Ankiel would hit over a stretch of random at-bats in July. And would Ankiel happily go to Venezuela? I have no idea. This player evaluation stuff is hard!

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