Pirates Looking to Sign Ryan Church?

Djean Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette believes that the Pirates are interested in signing right fielder Ryan Church.

Church, 31, hit .273 with four home runs and 40 RBI’s while splitting time as a member of both the Mets and Braves last season.

This news is somewhat surprising as it was rumored for weeks that the Pirates were looking to sign another free agent outfielder by the name of Rick Ankiel.

However, as Kovacevic notes that Ankiel’s agent, Scott Boras, is still touting his client as a starting outfielder.

Last season, Ankiel hit for a dismal .231 average and hit only 11 home runs, which is nearly half the amount he hit in 2008 (25).

While Ankiel may have a more powerful bat, the Pirates do not want to put themselves in a position of having to block one of their top prospects, Jose Tabata, when he gets called up from the minor leagues.

I think Ryan Church would be a solid pickup for any team, especially for the role of a reserve outfielder. He brings to the table a strong arm for the outfield and a bat that could potentially hit 20 home runs.