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Indians ink Jason Giambi to minor league deal

Indians ink Jason Giambi to minor league deal
February 9, 2013
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CLEVELAND, OH - The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has signed free agent designated hitter/first baseman Jason Giambi to a Minor League contract with a non-roster invitation to Major League camp.

Giambi, 42, owns a career Major League batting average of .280 (1968-for-7021) with 395 doubles, 9 triples, 429 home runs and 1405 RBI over 18 seasons and 2163 games since debuting with Oakland in 1995 (.403OB/.522SLG/.926OPS). He was a five-time American League All-Star with the A’s and New York Yankees from 2000-2004, captured the 2000 AL MVP award while finishing second the following year with Oakland. He currently ranks 7th among active players in RBI, 8th in home runs and 4th in walks (1334).

The Long Beach State alum has spent the last four seasons with the Colorado Rockies, hitting a combined .248 (104-420) with 20 2B, 22HR & 86RBI in 230 games (78G at 1B, .375OB/.452SLG/ .827OPS).

User Comments

February 15, 2013 - 5:07 PM EST
The one thing is with Colorado they had no DH. I doubt he makes the team but you always got to bring in one guy like this. Kinda like Dave Winfield in 1995. He might be done but you know the guy is going to give you a pro a bat. Maybe there is a reason the expect him to have better power then last year I don't know. But, it does not hurt to bring him in to see if he has anything left because of all the valuable leadership he could bring to a team. If he can get on base and still has some power then a pinch hitter slash backup DH might not be out of the question but again very rare that he actually makes the team. Still a nice guy to have around in Spring Training.
February 11, 2013 - 1:58 PM EST
This is another in the seemingly unending parade of washed up veterans that Antonetti loves. As I have said before, the guy seems to think that he alone can resurrect the dead.

Giambi has no power left. His one and only asset is that he still can draw a walk. Is this what we need, a base clogger who's 1 and only asset is to get to first base?

And before antybody starts throwing out the veteran leadership card, let's not forget that this is a guy who signed a 170 million dollar contract all based on a lie.

He's also the guy who threw ARod under the bus when he said the team wasn't getting the leadership from ARod he was paid to provide. Wow, what a dirtbag.
MT88 in WI
February 10, 2013 - 4:34 PM EST
I hadn't considered the possible future slot on a coaching staff.. I have a feeling that Sandy gets a manger slot next season somewhere else. If so Giambi might slide into that slot or a base coach opening.
February 10, 2013 - 3:20 PM EST
Maybe Dolan is planning a senior league team. You know with the baby boomers all doing HGH and getting Botox and collagen maybe we need a league of our own. I just hope they don't forget to sign get Victor Conte as head trainer
February 10, 2013 - 2:03 PM EST
Even on a minor league deal, I don't get this signing at all. Giambi is *done*. His last good year was in 2008 and last season he was awful. Sure, he still gets on base, but his power is gone. Probably the only move this offseason I can even question, but again, on a minor league deal, it hurts nothing. I mean, geeze, why not just sign Albert Belle and his bum hip to a minor league deal while we are at it? lol. I actually think there may be more to this and maybe there may be a coaching opportunity in the mix.
February 10, 2013 - 1:39 PM EST
Nice move. Spring Training is going to be interesting . I am sure the respect that Francona gets probably is why Tribe is getting these Minor League deal chances. Even if none work out, we are ok. Last year these guys would be competing for a starting job and at least a couple would have HAD to make the roster. We will actually have a solid bench this year.
February 10, 2013 - 10:51 AM EST
Something to keep in mind about Giambi that may have played a part in all of this is what else he can bring to the team in spring other than offense off the bench.

He was interviewed as a possible managerial candidate for Colorado, and by all accounts, was impressive.

Of course, this isn't he primary reason you bring him in, but perhaps there's more to this than meets the eye. move. It's not like he's blocking anybody, and if they HAD the money, they'd have gone after someone else by now...

Perhaps they are waiting to the spring to see if someone might get sprung...or become expendable...
February 10, 2013 - 10:27 AM EST
@anonymous... The question isn't why bother, it's why not? We'll be able to see pretty clearly in ST if he has anything left in the tank. If he can still hit a little, he's a decent LH bench bat to play against RHP. If he can't, so what? I think it's a decent move. Nothing to be excited about, but nothing to agonize over either.
February 10, 2013 - 6:46 AM EST
I know this is a minor league deal, but why even bother? He has absolutely nothing left in the tank and there isn't a chance in hell that he makes the team. Acta isn't our manager anymore.

I'm afraid Antonetti just couldn't help himself. The guy has a hard on for washed up old veterans who once were good players. Somehow, he truly believes he can resurrect the dead.
February 10, 2013 - 12:29 AM EST
Hasn't played a ton in the field as of late, but has still done well at 1B when he has. That goes to MT88's point.

I also doubt that Thome would have signed a minor league deal. That makes the most sense and lets the Tribe kick the tires around a bit without having to put the guys on the big league club immediately.

We've attracted some pretty high name recognition minor league contracts this offseason. I wonder if Francona has something to do with this.

Giambi provided some nice pop just back in 2011 for Colorado. Though his splits show that he benefited from the funny air in Denver. Even so, he hit righties well. What's odd is that he's hit lefties better than righties a couple of times over the past few years.

He could work in a platoon role and the commitment is minimal. Would still like to see Dice-K signed to a minor league deal. It doesn't hurt to sign these guys. If a couple of them pan out then it helps and if none do then no harm done.
MT88 in WI
February 9, 2013 - 11:03 PM EST
Inking Giambi over Thome/ Hafner/ Manny/ others makes sense if he can still play in the field for brief stretches.

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