Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but reports indicate that Ankiel will make $1.5 million, plus performance bonuses.
The left-handed-hitting slugger hit a combined .210 with two home runs and 10 RBIs with the Royals and Braves in 2010. He missed most of the season because of a hamstring injury.
Ankiel is considered an excellent defensive outfielder with speed. He will compete against Roger Bernadina for the job in left field. According to a baseball source, Washington has not ruled out Ankiel competing against Nyjer Morgan in center field.
If he wins either job, Ankiel will be in a platoon situation, most likely with Michael Morse.
Ankiel is best remembered for his years with the Cardinals. He started out as a pitcher, but control problem forced him to become a position player. His best season was in 2008, when he hit .264 with 25 home runs and 71 RBIs for St. Louis.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.