The Jason Giambi X-Factor

Hank recognizes the Satana-less future
And we're back...

Peter Abraham reports that Jason Giambi is supposedly in great shape and ready to play this year. Why? Well, because it’s his walk year, of course. Giambi, who’s had three and a half good years and two and a half terrible years on the Yanks, is playing out his age 37 season and could sign another two-year deal with some team if he proves he can still hit this year. While he probably won’t be in the Bronx in 2009, I’ll take a good 2008 from him.

Hank recognizes the Satana-less future
And we're back...
  • Mike A.

    Whatever the Yanks get out of Giambi is gravy. If he manages to go .250-.400-.450 with like, 18-20 HR and 80 RBI, that’d be UUUUUUGE, to quote Michael Kay.

  • Brian

    Contract year definitely. But this could well be attributed to the Girardi Effect you mentioned before. And, let’s face it: Giambi’s pride as a baseball player has been soundly stomped on (even more than 2004/5). He knows this is his only chance to win it with the Yanks. Suppose Giambi has a decent season, say he somehow matches 2006 with a .253/.413/.558 and hits 35 HR. What does he make in a two-year contract regardless of where he goes?

  • Joe

    To me this is more offensive than the use of steroids. It’s one thing to try and get better artificially. It’s another to sign a long term contract and half ass you playing until it’s time to play for another contract. Maybe this is the edge that the Yankees need,a bunch of rookies playing for jobs and a bunch of veterans playing for contracts.

    • Brian

      I don’t think he’s half-assed it. And, he hasn’t proven anything yet this year either (this story is “as per Ian Kennedy and what someone told him in the Nevada area.”) If Giambi is prepared for Spring Training, shouldn’t we be happy? We are reading between the lines to say “contract year. blah blah”, and understandably so, but come on: it’s better than the guy that signs a huge contract and subsequently showing up with injuries due to ripping open potato chip bags with his teeth. And worse than steroids? Hyperbole looms large during Spring Training for sure.

      • steve (different one)

        yeah, i don’t think you can get a heel spur by “half assing” it.

        he was hurt last year.

        not that i am going to fall over myself to defend Giambi, but let’s stick to what we do know.

  • j

    Giambi playign well in 2008 is obvously a good thing. When he’s hitting like he can, he’s a beast. And if he puts up a good enough year, the 2009 draft could possibly loaded with Yankee picks as Giambi and Pettitte could potentially be Type A free agents.

    • Joseph P.

      The problem is that the Yanks will not offer Giambi arbitration. They can only reduce his pay 20 percent, so that’s roughly $17 million they’d be on the hook for if he accepted. And Pettitte has made if fairly clear that he’ll pitch in NY or he won’t pitch at all.

      • steve

        they can always strike a deal where they offer giambi arbitration with an agreement that he will reject it, i think they did that with villone a few years ago?

        either way they might be able to get a type B draft pick out of hawkins and farnsworth and abreu is good for type A (i think) it’s just too bad they can’t get anything for moose pavano and giambi.

        • Joseph P.

          It was Bernie, I believe, and that was just to extend the window of negotiation. Back then — late 2005 — if you didn’t offer your player arbitration, you couldn’t sign him until May. Even if you did offer him arbitration, you had until mid- to late-December to hammer out a deal, or once again you can’t sign him until May.

          So that was an issue of time rather than an issue of draft picks. And since then, it has changed. When the Yanks offered Villone arbitration, he declined. But the Yanks still could have signed him whenever, because the nature of that portion of the CBA had changed.

          • RollingWave

            could they even offer him arbitration ? he has a option. wouldn’t buying out the option techincally decline the arbitration in the first place?

            • steve (different one)

              no, they can decline the option, then offer arbitration. once the option is declined, he becomes a free agent, just like any other player with an expiring contract.

              i believe they did this with Leiber, and collected a draft pick.

  • snow

    giambi’s been battling nagging injuries the past couple of years it seems. i’d love to see him stay healthy this year and bump up those stats again, he can go wherever he wants to go in 09 but I’d love to have Giambi healthy in the DH role. maybe losing a few pounds will take some strain off those paws

  • JK

    1. Competition at 1B to win the job
    2. Competition at DH to get Ab
    3. Walk year
    4. Girardi not favoring veterans like Torre

    It’s interesting that Mussina starts working out with weights for the first time when his spot in the rotation is not guaranteed and he’s in a walk year…

    Old vets get complacent!

    • steve (different one)

      moose had a great year in 2006. why would he have decided to change his regimen last offseason when his old regimen was still working?

      he failed last year, and now he is working to change that.

      why are we criticizing him for that again?

  • Count Zero

    I’d love to see Giambi have one more good year — and have it right now when we’ll likely need it.

    But I seriously doubt it’s gonna’ happen. This guy is a broken body at this point. If it’s not his wrist, it’s tendinitis, or it’s a hammy or it’s his back…the likelihood of him going more than 60 days without breaking down seems slim to me. He just goes from one injury to another.

    • Jeterismyhomeboy

      I love how people are saying that he’s doing it because it’s a contract year. Maybe he’s working out harder because he had a down year last year with the tear of his plantar fascia, and he wants to get back in working order and help the team. Especially because he knows that the Yankees will have young pitchers on the mound and they’ll need all the help they can get (which is not to say that Phil, Joba and Ian are incompetent, but rather that they will have growing pains).

      Injury to injury? Like in 2006, when he played 139 games. But that was just one year. Just look at that 2005…when he played 139 games. And obviously, he’s washed up. I mean, a .975 raw OPS and a 161 OPS+ is just…mediocre. But that was two years ago. In 2006 he did so much worse with a .971 raw OPS and a 148 OPS+. And clearly, he had met his match in 2007 when he put up a .970 OPS before injuring himself in early May and playing through the pain of tearing the bridge of his foot and then hitting poorly in extremely limited playing time when he returned from injury. Clearly.

      • Count Zero

        I don’t question Giambi’s ability to mash when he’s healthy. However, I do question his health, you very selective sample not with standing.

        First of all, for a guy who is essentially a $20MM DH at this point, 139 games isn’t all that hot. It’s JD Drew territory only without playing a position.

        Second of all, I like the way you chose the two good years. 2004-2007, he averaged 110 games per year. In other words, he has missed 33% of the games the Yankees played over the last four years</b.

        That sound like a healthy guy to you? Because it sure doesn’t to me. For $20MM, 110 games a year is a pretty colossal bust anyway you slice it. Oh, and the Miguel-Cairo-like OPS+ of 90 in 2004, and a spectacular 108 in 2007. But yeah — cherry pick that sample to prove your point. LOL

        • Jeterismyhomeboy

          What you’re doing, in turn, is cherry-picking. The time he missed in 2004 was directly correlated to his steroid use. He had a pituitary tumor, for goodness sakes. The reason I chose 2005-2007 was because it’s a time when steroids could be dismissed as an enhancer for his performance. 139 games is a pretty solid amount, especially considering that he went between being 1B and DH in those years. He missed 23 games a year, which is not an enormous amount.

          Moreover, you can’t dismiss that in 2007 he had far less playing time (the fewest AB since his rookie season) and was coming back from a very painful, slow-healing foot injury. He tore muscle in his foot. He hasn’t shown any particular track record since having a tumor of being particularly injury prone. It’s not like Johnny Damon, who has persistent, nagging injuries, or that god-forsaken man, Carl Pavano. He’s been there for the majority of the season, hitting excellently. Moreover, pre-injury he was mashing like normal. Reason implies that if he hadn’t injured his foot, a total freak injury unrelated to steroid use (unlike the pituitary tumor), he would have been a productive part of the Yankee lineup. Missing 14.2 percent (less than 1 in 5) of games over the last two years doesn’t suggest that he’s injury prone at all. In fact, the only major health issues he’s had were the tumor and tearing the arch of his foot. I see nothing in his games played that suggests he is injury prone in any way shape or form. It’s like suggesting that Matsui is injury prone because he broke his wrist in 2006.

  • Link

    The Big G is loose!!

  • Jeff

    I don’t like to think his motivation lies soley on it being his walk year. Before this season he worked hard ot come back from ill health. Comback player of the year wouldnt have happened is he was half assing it all the way.
    I think the guy loves baseball and I’m sure seeing his role reduced to the bench was motivation enough.

  • Jamal G

    As pointed out Giambi has been a force in his 6 seasons (4 healthy) as a NYY. He has averaged 30 HRs and 85 RBIs through is Yankees tenure. We are praying, literally praying for that type of production from our 1B platoon this year of Duncan/Ensberg or whoever fills out that spot. A healthy Giambi will bring productions close to that average, maybe a .250/.410/.550 line? I don’t think that’s completely out of the question if he splits time with Matsui at DH and whoever at 1B since that was his batting line in 2006 where he started 64 games at 1B.

  • jsbrendog

    get rid of him he’s a bum. a stinky bum. he’s done and should have just left years ago

  • Spike

    Giambi sweats like a beast…. That’s all I have to say on this topic at this time.

  • Manimal

    He certainly wont hurt the team, anything he will do will be productive.