June 23, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Rick Ankiel (24) doubles in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Nationals defeated the Orioles 3 - 1. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE
I don't know whether the Pirates are interested or not, but they certainly should be making a bunch of phone calls and looking at recent video. Ankiel is no longer a good player, but he would be an upgrade to the Pirates bench much as Drew Sutton has been. The key question, though, is whether he can still run and play the outfield. He used to be an excellent center fielder and he has a cannon. You may never see a better throw than this one.
Ankiel is also cheap, earning only $1.25 million. The Pirates may never get a shot at claiming him, however, as they will be selecting late in the waiver claiming process. Ankiel could, and I suspect will, be claimed before the Bucs get their shot. But with the move being so low-risk and the Pirates having issues with their corners, the answer, if there aren't any obvious physical concerns, is a resounding yes if they have the chance.