2/11/2013 4:46 P.M. ET
Yanks may shift Gardner to center, Granderson to left
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees are considering moving Curtis Granderson to left field and installing Brett Gardner in center field. Granderson said on Monday that he is on board with the idea.
Manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman have said that their outfield alignment will be a topic of discussion this spring, with the belief that Gardner could offer a superior defensive option in center field.
"I played all three outfield positions coming up through college and the Minor Leagues," Granderson said. "It's been a while since I played there in the big leagues, but I have done it. I played a lot of games in left, and I could go to right.
"If they're open to it, I'm open to it, too. I feel like I can float around there wherever we need to be and whatever the best group happens to be, I've got no problem with doing it, especially when you add a guy like Ichiro [Suzuki] to the mix."
Granderson has made just 22 big league appearances in left field, the last of which came in 2007 with the Tigers. Granderson said that he has worked out in left field during previous Spring Trainings and wouldn't be opposed to the idea, but the Yanks have not addressed the topic with Granderson yet.
Cashman said last week that a defensive change is "something we'll talk about" and "certainly something that's possible, but it's not something we've moved on."
No matter how Gardner, Granderson and Ichiro wind up being aligned, Granderson said that he likes the idea of having three speedy players manning the outfield.
"Left-center in Yankee Stadium is a very big part of the field," Granderson said. "Everyone talks about how small right is, but left-center is still one of the biggest in all of baseball, and you've got to be able to cover that ground as well.
"The fact that guys can move very well, can swap, can get the ball in, does a lot of things for confidence for our pitching staff. I think it's going to be a good thing for us."
Granderson open to contract extension
TAMPA, Fla. -- Curtis Granderson has not heard from the Yankees about a contract extension, but he is open to having the conversation.
Granderson, 31, is eligible for free agency after this season. The center fielder had a $15 million option picked up by the Yankees in October, and Granderson said that he would be interested in staying in New York beyond this year.
"Oh, definitely. I'd be a fool not to," Granderson said. "It's been a great organization, it's been a great team. I've enjoyed my three seasons here; I'm so excited about this fourth season, and hopefully this season isn't the last one."
Granderson was acquired from the Tigers in a three-team trade prior to the 2010 season, and he has batted a combined .247 with 108 home runs and 292 RBIs over his three seasons with the Yanks.
Last week, managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner revealed that the club has had preliminary discussions about an extension for second baseman Robinson Cano.
Granderson said that he hasn't heard anything similar from his agent, but with his first crack at free agency ahead, the future has crossed Granderson's mind.
"I asked a couple guys about it last year, [Nick] Swisher and CC [Sabathia], when he did it coming over," Granderson said. "But I really don't know what to do about it. The only things I can do is control the things I can, get myself ready for this season, and that's what I'm going to try to do -- go out there, have fun, prepare hard, work hard and leave it all out there."
Last season, Granderson led the Yankees with a career-high 43 home runs, batting .232 with 102 runs scored and 106 RBIs in 160 games.
Granderson also set a franchise record with 195 strikeouts, and while he isn't exactly fretting about that number, he recognizes there is room for improvement.
"I've had some people say that I strike out too much," Granderson said. "But then I say, 'What's the good number?' Is there a good number? There isn't.
"Hopefully, if I can just get a little more consistent, hopefully not get to two strikes as much, be a little more aggressive, then I think it's going to translate to some good things."
Clean-shaven Aardsma looks to win bullpen job
TAMPA, Fla. -- For David Aardsma to have a chance at making the Yankees' bullpen this spring, he knew there was one important sacrifice to make: his goatee.
"It was a sad day," said a clean-shaven Aardsma, following a workout at the Yanks' Minor League complex. "You have it all offseason, and I'd been used to having it for such a long time. It was a sad shave this morning."
It will have been worth it if Aardsma can enjoy the kind of productive spring he is shooting for.
Aardsma made it into one September game with the Yankees last season -- his first big league appearance since 2010 -- after returning from Tommy John surgery, and he hopes to be an impact arm for manager Joe Girardi when 2013 begins.
"I've been throwing full [bullpen sessions]," Aardsma said. "I was [under] no restrictions at the end of last year, so I'm excited about it. I'm ready to have a real Spring Training for once."
The 31-year-old Aardsma said that he has been working out five to six days per week and has already thrown four full bullpen sessions, along with a handful of flat ground sessions.
"I feel normal, I feel like the same spot I used to be in Spring Training," said Aardsma, who saved 69 games for the Mariners from 2009-10. "I'm a little off here and there, but it's a lot tighter and it's coming together."