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Granderson adds spice to Yankees-Mets rivalry

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Curtis Granderson did not waste any time adding some spice to the crosstown rivalry between the Yankees and the Mets, leaving little question where his allegiances now reside.

Granderson was introduced by his new club in a Winter Meetings news conference on Tuesday at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin resort, and with a broad grin, the 32-year-old outfielder took a playful swipe at his former employer.

"A lot of the people I've met in New York have always said that, 'True New Yorkers are Mets fans,'" Granderson said after donning his No. 3 Mets jersey for the first time. "So I'm excited to get a chance to see them all out there."

Granderson signed a four-year, $60 million contract with the Mets after playing the previous four seasons with the Yankees. He declined a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Yankees, who instead pursued outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran in free agency.

"I understand why he would say that," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "Listen, the great thing about our city is, there is room for both. The Mets got a good player, they really did.

"I really wish I would have been able to see him this past year put up more numbers. He just had freak injuries, unfortunately. We appreciate the time we had with him, and he'll help the Mets. Good man to boot, too. A real good man."

Granderson was limited to just 61 games last season with the Yankees, batting .229 with seven homers and 15 RBIs. He batted .245 with 115 home runs and 307 RBIs over his four seasons as a Yankee after beginning his career with the Tigers.

"There were conversations right away [with the Yankees] about the way they were considering things, but they were open with me," Granderson said. "They said, 'Hey, we have a couple other options we're considering.' I said, 'I completely understand. We're also doing the exact same thing.' I understand business is business.

"Depending on which way they wanted to go, which they decided to do, they made those options to do so. I'm glad again the Mets were there constantly on me and pushing and showing the interest. You want to go where you're needed and wanted, and the Mets definitely wanted me, and I'm excited to be here."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

New York Yankees, Curtis Granderson