There’s a story making the rounds today saying the Yankees are looking into voiding Jason Giambi’s contract. If this sounds familiar to you, well there’s a reason. The exact same story made the rounds two years ago, when news first leaked about Giambi’s damning testimony in the BALCO hearings.
There wasn’t much talk about cutting Giambi last year, when he was comeback player of the year, but so far this year, his power has disappeared, and he’s making stupid statements again.
Let’s ignore the fact that voiding Giambi’s contract would have nothing to do with his alleged steroid use for a moment, and look at it from a baseball perspective. I don’t get it. I mean, where’s the advantage? Are the Yanks looking to trim payroll? I think that ship has sailed. It’s not like they’re going to use the “saved” money to go out and get someone. If there was someone out there to get, they’d get him. Money be damned.
If they do void the contract, I’d have to assume that Giambi will sign elsewhere, which means the Yanks would be forced to go without another bat in their lineup. Who’s going to take his at bats? Will Melky be moved to left permanently, and Matsui DH? If that’s the route they wanted to take, they could do it now and have Giambi coming off the bench. Are they that happy with Phelps so far? Are they going to make him their full-time DH?
I have to think this is much ado about nothing. Giambi is slumping, and he’s hurt, but if this was the path the Yankees wanted to take with him, they would’ve done it two years ago, not now. Honestly, if it does happen, and there isn’t some blockbuster trade following right on its heels, I think it signifies a white flag.
If we get into the “Is it fair for the Yanks to void his contract,” argument, the answer is obvious. The Yankees won’t be cutting Giambi loose for using roids 4 or 5 years ago, they’ll be cutting him loose because he isn’t getting the job done now. Simple as that. This is a get-out-of-jail free card which would allow the Yanks the opportunity to free themselves of what remains of his seven-year, $120 million contract. I think it’s wrong, and I hope the Yanks don’t try to go through with it.