Kansas City Royals outfielder Brian Anderson wants to give pitching a try.

Anderson, a righthander, signed a $700,000, 1-year free-agent contract with the Royals in the offseason after finishing 2009 with the Boston Red Sox. But instead of taking a minor league assignment yesterday as an outfielder, the former first-round draft pick opted to go to the low minors and work his way back as a pitcher.

Royals manager Trey Hillman says he's not sure how the transition will work, "but it's going to start at the very bottom."

Anderson last pitched in college for Arizona, where he appeared in 17 games and had a 5.40 ERA in 21 2/3 innings.

After he signed with Kansas City, the Royals added outfielders Scott Podsednik and Rick Ankiel - who oddly enough used to be a pitcher - pushing Anderson back in the ranks.

Selected by the White Sox with the 15th overall pick in the 2003 amateur draft, Anderson has a .227 average in five major league seasons.

Noteworthy

* New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced that Curtis Granderson will be the team's starting centerfielder. The Yankees explored the possibility of shifting Granderson, a 2009 American League All-Star, to left so the speedy Brett Gardner could play center. Gardner will play in left. Granderson was obtained from Detroit in a three-team, seven-player trade last December.

* Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez has left the team to attend to family issues in Venezuela. New York general manager Omar Minaya did not give any details about Rodriguez' situation, but says he expects the righthander to be back with the team by Opening Day.

In other news, shortstop Jose Reyes will start the season on the disabled list to get in better shape. Reyes said the team told him he'll be on the DL because he missed 3 weeks of spring training due to a thyroid issue.

* Boston righthander Junichi Tazawa will have ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow next week, an operation that is likely to sideline him for about a year.

* Texas acquired first baseman Ryan Garko off waivers from Seattle. Garko is a .279 career hitter over five major league seasons with Cleveland (2005-09) and San Francisco (2009). Texas optioned catcher Max Ramirez to Triple A Oklahoma.

* Infielder Julio Lugo was traded from St. Louis to Baltimore for a player to be named or cash. The 34-year-old became expendable after the Cardinals signed Felipe Lopez in late February.

* New Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts says he will continue to let general manager Jim Hendry run all aspects of baseball operations - including any decisions regarding manager Lou Piniella's future beyond this season. Piniella is in the final year of his contract. Ricketts also said that money should be available if Hendry and Piniella want to add players as the trading deadline approaches.

* Former Phillies outfielder Doug Glanville is joining ESPN as a baseball analyst. Glanville played nine major league seasons with the Cubs, Phillies and Rangers before retiring in 2005.

* The man charged with killing Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart last year wants to move the murder trial outside of Orange County, Calif. The attorney for 23-year-old Andrew Thomas Gallo says the publicity surrounding the April 9, 2009, crash will make it hard for Gallo to get a fair trial. Gallo has pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder and other felonies in the crash that killed Adenhart and two friends. Police say Gallo had nearly triple the legal blood-alcohol level when his minivan ran a red light and crashed in Fullerton.