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Yanks may shift Gardner to center, Granderson to left


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."

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