WASHINGTON -- Outfielder Rick Ankiel is returning to the Nationals. On Sunday, he agreed to terms on a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training, a baseball source confirmed to MLB.com. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Nationals were looking for a left-handed hitter for their bench, and Ankiel could be a good fit. He also could find himself platooning in center field with Mike Cameron, who also signed a Minor League deal this offseason.
There has also been talk this winter of moving right fielder Jayson Werth to center if Bryce Harper makes the leap to the Majors. The Nationals could still trade for a center fielder. Left-hander John Lannan is on the trade block and could be traded for a center fielder.
Last season, Ankiel hit .239 with nine home runs and 37 RBIs in 122 games with Washington and was an outstanding defender in center field.
Adam Berry and Bill Ladson are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.