The Nationals designate Rick Ankiel for assignment

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Drew Storen is ready to come off the DL so someone had to go. That someone is Rick Ankiel, who the Nationals have designated for assignment.

Ankiel is pretty much Ankiel at this point. He’s hitting .228/.282/.411, which is not terribly different from what he did last year. Or the year before that. Or the year before that.  He is on-base challenged but can hit a ball far if he makes contact. He plays good defense and has a great arm in the outfield.

My guess is that he catches on someplace because that kind of player is still useful on a team’s bench.

Report: Orioles re-sign Pedro Alvarez to minors deal

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The Orioles have re-signed infielder Pedro Alvarez to a minor league deal, per a report from Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. The deal guarantees Alvarez $1 million if he makes the 40-man roster and another $2 million in potential performance bonuses. The team has yet to confirm the deal.

This will be Alvarez’s third year with the Orioles. After posting decent numbers in 2016, the 31-year-old was relegated to the minors for the majority of the 2017 season and saw only 14 games at the big league level. He finished the year with an underwhelming .239/.294/.442 batting line and 26 home runs through 595 plate appearances for Triple-A Norfolk.

Alvarez is expected to split his time between first base and DH this spring, and MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli notes that he’s unlikely to experiment with another outfield role. While he isn’t too far removed from his last productive season in the majors, the veteran infielder will function purely as insurance for first baseman Chris Davis and designated hitter Mark Trumbo and will likely begin the season in the minors.