Archive for Jason Giambi
Just a couple of notes to take you into the Election Night proceedings:
- The Yankees have declined the $13 million option for Carl Pavano and the $22 million option for Jason Giambi, according to Mark Feinsand. There’s a chance, albeit slim, that the Yankees could look to retain one or both, but on more team-friendly terms. They’ll pay Pavano $1.95 million to buy him out, Giambi $5 million.
- The team did not, however, announce anything regarding Damaso Marte‘s $6 million option for 2009. While it has been speculated that they will decline it, indications are that the team is looking to sign him to a different deal, one that likely spans multiple years. Worst case, they offer him arbitration and net a couple of draft picks.
- According to Ken Davidoff, the Yankees have had “very preliminary” discussions with the agents for CC Sabathia. This is no big deal of course, certainly no bigger than A.J. Burnett opting out of his contract. The Yanks are expected to make an offer exceeding the contract of Johan Santana (six years, $137.5 million with a $25 million club option for 2014).
While most people know Robert Goulet as a successful Broadway star, most youngsters know him from a rather hilarious Super Bowl commercial. Now, Goulet, posthumously, has lent his name to an American Mustache Institute award, and, well, Jason Giambi‘s ‘stache is one of the finalists for Mustache of the Year. The competition is fierce; Goose Gossage, Don LaFontaine and Keith Hernandez are among the nominees. But head on over to AMI’s site and vote for Giambi. After all, no one else’s ‘stache had a 130 OPS+.
The Yanks hold a $20 million option or a $5 million buy-out on Jason Giambi‘s contract. While the team will, in all likelihood, not exercise that option, Giambi says he would like to return to the Yanks. I’m on the fence here. The Yanks need the 134 OPS+ Giambi brings to the table, and he’s certainly a much better option than Hideki Matsui at this point. But they need a better first baseman, and the team really needs to get younger. For the right price, I’d bring him back but not at the expense of any other potential moves to improve the team.
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How’s this for a little Saturday morning reading? According to Ken Rosenthal, Jason Giambi is playing himself toward a free agent bidding war. With Giambi’s putting up excellent on-base and power numbers this year, Rosenthal sees the Indians, Mariners, Blue Jays and A’s as potential suitors for Giambi.
There is, of course, a catch – a five-million-dollar catch. The Yanks hold a $22 million option on Giambi’s contract but have to pay him a $5 million buyout if they don’t exercise that option. If Giambi’s services are truly in demand, the Yanks will have to decide if they want to pay Giambi five million to play for a potential competitor. Right now, it’s tough to say if Rosenthal is just speculating on Giambi’s future or if he has a sense of what the Indians and others are thinking.
I don’t believe the Yanks will be tempted to exercise their option, and Rosenthal agrees. But the Yanks are going to face a tough decision on Jason no matter how this season plays out. He’s old; he’s not in the best of health. But he can still launch the ball, and his batting eye remains among the game’s best. What to do, what to do.
So we’ve got a game at 10 p.m. on a Friday night. Let’s while away the hours debating the 2009 Yankees. And as an added bonus, we’ve even got a rare RAB poll.
When the season draws to a close in a few months and the Yanks’ Front Office begins the process of reconstructing a roster for 2009, the folks in Baseball Ops will have a few decisions to make. Two of the tougher choices facing the Yanks this year will come internally and involve two of their more productive but older players: Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi.
In one corner, we have Abreu, the Yanks’ right fielder. On the season, Abreu is hitting .291/.363/.474 with 15 home runs and a team-leading 76 RBIs. While still good, his triple-slash numbers are well off from his career norms of .300/.400/.500, and at 34, Abreu is definitely past his offensive prime. In the outfield, his defense is merely okay. He has a stellar arm, but throwing accuracy has always been an issue for him. He isn’t the quickest guy in right, and his range has never been a plus baseball trait.
For the Yanks, Abreu represents a dilemma. Bobby wants to stick around, and he would be a good guy for the Yanks’ outfield. There is, however, a but. Right now, the Yanks are waiting for Austin Jackson to land in the Bronx. With an ETA of 2010, the Yanks don’t really need to sign an aging and declining player like Abreu to a deal longer than one or two years. Abreu will probably want a three- or four-year deal monetarily in line with what Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon have.
Meanwhile, the Yanks should have a glut of outfielders next year. For better or worse, Melky will probably still be around; Damon and Matsui — who should be healthy — are under contract; and Xavier Nady will play a role on the 2009 Yankees as well. Does Bobby Abreu fit in or do the Yanks say, “Thanks, but we’d rather have the draft picks”?
In the other corner, we have Jason Giambi. His situation is a bit more delicate. Similar to Abreu, Giambi has expressed a desire to stay in New York, and the Yankees are holding a $20-million option or a $5-million buyout on the Giambino’s deal. On the season, Jason is hitting .256/.391/.518 with 22 HR and 65 RBI. He seems to run hot and cold, and while he had a great series in Texas, he had been scuffling of late.
The Giambi decision is a bit more nuanced than the Abreu situation. First up is the option that the Yanks won’t pick up. If the Yanks cut Giambi and he signs somewhere else, the team will have, in effect, paid him $5 million to play against them, and the Yanks have never been too keen on that approach. Next up is age. Giambi, while healthy this year, will play his age 38 season in 2009 and doesn’t figure to be around for too long. The Yanks need to get younger, and they need a first baseman. Mark Teixeira looks awfully appealing.
So what do you do with Jason Giambi? Should the Yanks pay him to play elsewhere? Should they re-sign him to split time at first base and DH again? While Chuck Johnson recently penned a piece for the YES Network’s site calling for the Yanks to dump Giambi, I don’t think there’s an obvious answer to this one. It’s far, far easier to make the case against Abreu than it is to advocate for or against Giambi.
As always with these open threads, play nice in the comments and vote in the poll below. At this point, I’m voting for Jason Giambi but not Abreu. Number 53 still has a chance to change my mind though.
The American Mustache Institute has instituted a day of mourning for Jason Giambi‘s ‘stache. Sadly for AMI, Jason Giambi, on his first day sans the ‘stache, went 3 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs. He had been struggling of late, and while AMI hopes to see a monument for the mustache pop up in Monument Park, I doubt Giambi will bring it back any time soon if his hot hitting continues.
Besides the poorest excuse for a center fielder on a playoff-contending team, Jason Giambi earned the rare distinction as the only Yankee starter without a hit on Sunday. To that end, Jason Giambi opted to shave off the ‘stache. Long gone is the 1970s porno facial hair. This decision to shave couldn’t have come a moment to soon; since July 18, Giambi is hitting .216 with six extra-base hits. A hot streak any time soon would be most welcome.
Your mission tonight: comment on the following picture. We can do captions, comments, what have you. Tommiesmithjohncarlos, I’m expecting a lot from you.
These guys want you to vote for Jason Giambi, and Giambi said he would participate in the Home Run Derby only if elected to the All Star team. Plus, there’s that whole .930 OPS thing going on which is a full .021 higher than the starting first baseman’s. So point your browser here and do your civic duty. Much like the Chicogoans did in the 1960s, you can vote as many times as you’d like.
Is it too early to think about 2009? It seems as though, in Yankee-land, it is not.
Price of the Giambino: Two months ago, we would have set the odds of Jason Giambi’s returning to the Bronx next year at approximately, well, zero. But we’re hearing the Yankees have sent signals to Giambi that, assuming he stays healthy and reasonably productive, they would be amenable to bringing him back next year. There’s zilch chance they’ll pick up his $22 million option. But a modest one-year offer, on top of his $5 million buyout, apparently is no longer out of the question. Who’d have thunk it?
Who’d have thunk it? Well, outside of our own Jamal, approximately no one. We knew Giambi wasn’t going to be terrible all season; we didn’t realize he would start putting up MVP-caliber numbers over a significant stretch of the season.
Now, I don’t need to rehash Giambi’s numbers since he broke out of his slump. I’ve done that recently here and, in a more in-depth post here this week. Suffice it to say that Jason Giambi is having a stretch right now that ranks among his best in pinstripes.
So what are the Yankees to do next year and beyond? The Yanks hold a $20 million option or a $5 million buyout for Giambi. There’s almost no chance that the Yanks would opt to exercise that option. Stark’s sources speculate that the Yankees would be more inclined to exercise that buy out and sign Giambi to a much lower one-year deal.
There are of course a few factors involved in this decision. One of those factors lies with Jason Giambi. If Jason continues to mash this year, the odds are pretty good that he could land a deal longer than one year. He’ll have to decide if he wants to stick around New York or go for a longer contract. I highly doubt the Yanks would be willing to do more than a year-to-year situation with Giambi. Maybe they would give him a two-year deal with a lower salary but some high incentives.
The other factor, of course, lies with the Yankees. If Jason Giambi can be a productive offensive player, the Yankees will definitely look to bring him back. He hasn’t been terrible in the field this year, and he more than makes up for it at the plate. Furthermore, the Yanks seem to believe that Hideki Matsui is no longer as durable as he once was and are hoping to prolong Jorge Posada‘s career by spelling him behind the plate as often as possible. Giambi could do a bit of 1B/DH platooning next year.
But if the Yankees want to go young — or younger — and take a long, hard look at Mark Teixeira in the off-season, they probably wouldn’t opt to retain Giambi and Matsui. Despite the age difference, I’d almost take Giambi over Matsui with that lineup. Of course, economics play into it too. If the Yanks are going to be paying Giambi $5 million not to renew his contract, they’ll probably want some of that money to go to on-field production and would thus be more willing to bring him back for the right price.
In the end, of course, despite Stark’s assertions, it’s way too early to be making this decision. We still have over half the season to go, and questions of frailty surround Jason Giambi. It’s interesting to think about it, and if Giambi stays healthy and keeps producing, the Yanks will have to make a decision this October that probably doesn’t have a right or wrong answer.