ST. LOUIS (AP) - The New York Mets signed outfielder Rick Ankiel and started him in center field against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night.
Ankiel was designated for assignment by the Houston Astros last week and cleared waivers on Sunday.
He hit .194 with five homers and 11 RBIs for the Astros, who had signed him to a $750,000, one-year deal.
Ankiel traveled from Florida and arrived at Busch Stadium about 3 1-2 hours before gametime.
"We're hoping he helps us out," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Obviously, he's a great defensive outfielder. Makeup off the charts."