Toronto, Canada – By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Curtis Granderson donned the pinstripes as the newest member of the New York Yankees on Thursday and the owner said the World Series champions had not yet finished constructing the 2010 team.
Center-fielder Granderson, obtained by New York from the Detroit Tigers in a three-team trade, posed in his new uniform No. 14 at a Yankee Stadium news conference with team mates CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez standing by to welcome him.
"One thing I've learned over my world travels, being in China, being in Africa, being in Europe, Latin America, when you mention Major League Baseball...the Yankees are the first team that comes up," said Granderson.
"To get a chance to be a part of that now...I'm excited about that."
Left-handed hitting Granderson, who smacked 30 homers and drove in 71 runs for Detroit last season, is not sure where he will hit in the New York lineup.
He batted just .249 in 2009 and struggled against left-handed pitching.
Where Granderson is used in the order will probably be determined by moves made during the rest of the off-season.
"I don't believe we're done yet," Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner told reporters. "We always worry about pitching and we did lose (Hideki) Matsui.
Matsui, New York's designated hitter last season and MVP of the Yanks' Fall Classic triumph over the Philadelphia Phillies, signed with the Los Angeles Angels as a free agent.
"Granderson is going to go a long way toward replacing the offense there but I still think we're looking possibly at another bat," Steinbrenner said.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Granderson was a good fit.
"We're very excited about what Curtis brings to our club. Athleticism is something I love," Girardi said about the fast, lanky outfielder. "He hit 30 homers last year and I think he'll fit very well in our lineup and at Yankee Stadium.
Left-hander Sabathia said Granderson's problems against southpaws, against whom he hit just .183 last season, might just be a matter of approach.
"When he came up he was driving the ball to left field and was tougher on lefties then," Sabathia said.
"He started to hit a couple of home runs, got a little pull happy and lefties were able to stay away from him (pitch him outside) and have some success against him."
Yankee officials said they were still interested in retaining free agent Johnny Damon at the right price, and Steinbrenner noted the improvement of arch-rival Boston, who recently signed free agent pitcher John Lackey.
"It's concerning," the Yankees owner said. "They are going to have a great pitching staff. But I think we have a great pitching staff, too. Is there room for improvement? Yes."
(Editing by Clare Fallon)