Mets sign OF Ankiel

The New York Mets announced Monday that the team has signed outfielder Rick Ankiel and named him their starting center fielder for Monday's series opener against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Ankiel, a former pitcher-turned-outfielder, hit .194 with five homers over 25 games with Houston this season before the Astros designated him for assignment. The veteran outfielder cleared waivers on May 9.

Ankiel spent the first seven years of his MLB career with St. Louis, which drafted him as a pitcher in the second round of the 1997 draft.

The 33-year-old journeyman will bat seventh for New York in the first of a four-game set with the Cardinals.