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Yankees’ Winn ready to get started with Yankees

Alex Kratman

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 JANIE McCAULEY, AP Baseball Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Randy Winn(notes) believes his versatility makes him a good addition to the New York Yankees, and he’s eager to get started with the reigning World Series champions come spring training.

“They’re the World Series champions from last year and I have a chance to compete and get some playing time,” Winn said in a phone interview Tuesday night with The Associated Press from the Bay Area where he still lives. “I thought it was a great fit, being a versatile guy who can play all three outfield positions and can hit anywhere in the lineup.”

Winn agreed last Wednesday to a $2 million, one-year contract after spending the past 4 1/2 seasons with the San Francisco Giants. He’s busy this week trying to figure out the logistics of where to live and when to move his wife and children to the East Coast.“This came together quickly. The offseason was slow,” Winn said. “I didn’t really know what to expect. I got calls with interest but no offers.”

That is, until the Yankees showed they were serious about utilizing his services.

Winn gives the Yankees a veteran presence to share playing time in left field with Brett Gardner(notes)—not to mention someone who can also help mentor the youngster. Curtis Granderson(notes) is slated to be the center fielder and Nick Swisher(notes) is set to be the regular in right.

Winn gives manager Joe Girardi some added depth and options in the outfield. Winn played 104 games in right, 54 in left and 22 in center for the Giants in 2009. In ’08, he was the primary right fielder in San Francisco and played there for 133 games.

Winn joins Granderson as another newcomer to the Bronx and pinstripes.

In December, the Yankees acquired Granderson from Detroit in a three-team trade that included Arizona. He was a first-time All-Star last summer, and hit 30 home runs and stole 20 bases.

How does Winn think he’ll fit in a place where the pressure is like no other?

“I’ll be low-key,” he said. “I’ll let (Alex) Rodriguez, (Derek) Jeter and CC (Sabathia) do all the talking.”

Winn, heading into his 13th big league season, came to the Giants from the Seattle Mariners in a trading-deadline deal in 2005.

The 35-year-old Winn batted .262 with two home runs and 51 RBIs last year. He was an All-Star in 2002, when he hit .298 with 14 homers and 75 RBIs in the final season of his five years with Tampa Bay.

Now, he’s back in the AL East.

“It’s been a while since I played in the American League or the AL East,” Winn said. “I wasn’t too picky based on geography. I wanted the opportunity to come in and play and compete for a job.”

Winn, who served as the player representative for San Francisco, will return to spring training in Florida for the first time since ’02.

“There are a few less teams since the last time I was there,” he said. “They’ve moved to Arizona.”

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Yankees’ Winn ready to get started with Yankees