McGriff completes two days of workouts

Updated: July 28, 2004, 11:04 PM ET
Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- Three days after being released by Tampa Bay, Fred McGriff worked out Wednesday for the New York Yankees, the team that launched his career 23 years ago.

The Devil Rays designated the 40-year-old first baseman for assignment on July 17 after he hit .181 with two homers and seven RBI in 27 games. Seven homers shy of 500, McGriff is eager for another chance to reach the milestone this season.

"I hope so," McGriff said. "We'll see. I'm just working out, taking ground balls and hitting a little bit."

McGriff was taken in the 1981 amateur draft by the Yankees, but was traded to Toronto the following year. Now it appears his career has taken him full circle.

"It would be awesome," McGriff said about the possibility of joining the Yankees. "You couldn't ask for anything better."

McGriff took batting practice and grounders in front of team officials at the Yankees' minor league complex. New York, the AL East leader, could be in the market for an extra first baseman depending on test results regarding ailing starter Jason Giambi.

Giambi has felt fatigued since early June because of an intestinal parasite. Yankees manager Joe Torre has said the team will know more about Giambi's status later this week.

Tony Clark has started at first in place of Giambi, who left the team for additional tests Monday night.

McGriff signed a minor league contract with Tampa Bay in February, hoping to show enough during spring training that a major league team would give him an opportunity to continue his quest for 500.

McGriff didn't begin the season with the Devil Rays, but joined them on May 28 for his second stint with the team.

"You always got to prove yourself every day," McGriff said. "For 18 years I've had to prove myself, so it's no different."

Meanwhile, right-hander Steve Karsay (rotator cuff surgery) has made good progress since having a minor setback last week after throwing consecutive games for the first time during a minor rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. He could resume pitching in minor games soon and is expected to rejoin the Yankees later this season.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press