Ryan Church To Sign with Pittsburgh Pirates?

Phil HoopsCorrespondent IJanuary 11, 2010

DENVER - JULY 12:  Ryan Church #25 of the Atlanta Braves takes an at bat against the Colorado Rockies during MLB action at Coors Field on July 12, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Braves 8-7.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

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 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).

The Pirates do not want to be in the 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.