I definitely did not see this one coming. According to George King of the New York Post, the Angels are interested in trading for 36 year-old Yankees slugger Jason Giambi.
The interest surfaced prior to Giambi’s public semi-admission of steroid use and subsequent MLB investigation. The Angels will wait it out to see whether the Yanks are able to void his contract. As Peter Abraham said yesterday, it’s not likely.
Giambi earns $21MM this year and another $21MM in 2008. He has a $22MM club option for ’09 with a $5MM buyout attached. Now, no club would exercise the option, so essentially the Yankees owe $47MM for 2007-08. Take out the money Giambi has already been paid this year, and the remaining commitment is about $41.4MM.
In theory the Yanks could eat about $15MM, and the Angels would send over some fairly valuable players in Chone Figgins and Jose Molina. However, I don’t think Arn Tellum would instruct Giambi to approve the trade with nothing in return. That full no-trade clause could be a major obstacle. Typically a player wants his option exercised to waive his no-trade rights, and Giambi’s ’09 option is crazy. Yes, Giambi would be close to home once again, but I doubt that alone would be enough.
Assuming he can stay healthy, Giambi would give the Angels a much-needed dose of OBP and power. The Halos rank tenth in the league with a .326 OBP and also tenth with a .394 SLG. Giambi is just what the doctor ordered for their offense, and they might be able to get him without surrendering any top prospects or young pitchers.