View Full Version : Yanks to start push for Giambi

11-13-2001, 12:58 PM
By Ken Davidoff

November 13, 2001

The Yankees have reached out to Jason Giambi, officially kicking off the recruitment of their top winter target. Giambi's agent, Arn Tellem, said last night that he has spoken with the Yankees since Giambi filed for free agency last week.

In the next few weeks, the Yankees could send out high-profile representatives such as Joe Torre and Derek Jeter to call on Giambi and advance their sales pitch, a similar tactic in their pursuit of Mike Mussina last year.

So can money and the chance for true national stardom, which the Yankees can offer him, and loyalty and happiness, which is why the Athletics have not yet surrendered hope that they can retain him. No one is naive enough to think that McGwire can single-handedly steer Giambi to St. Louis. But the future Hall of Famer's words could be a factor as Giambi contemplates his future.

For now, it appears that the Yankees, Cardinals and A's are the leading contenders for Giambi's services.

Even before the Yankees' World Series loss, George Steinbrenner had notified his baseball people that he wanted Giambi.

In the Yankees' organizational meetings last week, some officials expressed their reservations about Giambi's defense, and about spending so much money on a corner player. Yet with Johnson, Shane Spencer and an inexpensive third baseman - perhaps Enrique Wilson until Drew Henson is ready - in the mix, the Yankees can pay Giambi and still maintain a payroll close to this year's $112 million. Giambi could draw a deal worth as much as $20 million per season, for as long as eight years.

Giambi has expressed his affection for New York numerous times. When the Yankees swept the A's in an April series at Yankee Stadium, Giambi announced that he expected to be traded to the Yankees by July 31.

Cardinals management might not be as sold on Giambi as McGwire is. General manager Walt Jocketty told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "I told [Tellem] we do have interest, but I have no idea what kind of money it's going to take. We're not in position to spend much money."