Rick Ankiel (L) and relief pitcher Drew Storen of the Washington Nationals celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs 5-4 at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
The Nationals have been without closer Drew Storen all of the year, cycling through relievers like Henry Rodriguez and Brad Lidge before settling on Tyler Clippard, which they probably should have done to begin with.
Now Storen's back following elbow surgery, and the Nationals had to make room for him in a somewhat-surprising way:
Ankiel has turned always something of a two-tool player, with only his power and arm rating as above-average. He was hitting .228/.282/.411 in 158 at-bats. Considering that he can play a decent center, and his power and arm are still above-average, the Nationals are likely to work out a trade.
It's somewhat surprising the Nationals chose to part with Ankiel rather than Mark DeRosa, who is hitting .122/.279/.184 in 49 at-bats, and .211/.305/.259 since the beginning of 2010, but apparently the Nationals value his ability to play infield positions as well as corner-outfield spots. But that rationale ignores that Ankiel can pitch!