The former MVP, Jason Giambi drafted in '92 by the Oakland Athletics, left Oakland to go to the big bucks and eventually making a career high of $23.4 million the last two seasons. At his peak, he averaged about 40 HR, over 100 walks, over .450 OBP, and about .600 slugging percentage. After several injuries, his production has gone down significantly, as well as his playing time at first base. Like Milton Bradley, he can walk a lot, but strikes out a lot as well. Another thing he can do is crowd the plate, leading the AL last year with 22 hit by pitches. He has great discipline as well and doesn't swing at many pitches out of the strikezone, although it has gone up over the past few years. Here is a chart of his recent O-Swing%.
If the Rays sign do sign Giambi, the Rays would need to find another outfielder, as Giambi is a first baseman and the Rays already have Gold Glover there, Carlos Pena. Jason Giambi is at best an average defender at first, although his production at the plate is better when playing at first then DH-ing. He may not start in 150 games this year, and his production will not be as high as last year due to his age and his production is based on the long ball. Tropicana Field is a neutral park, and doesn't have the short porch in right like in Yankee stadium, so he has to hit for more doubles than the past few years or there will be significant drop off in his slugging percentage. If he can play 130, with most at DH, he can hit a line of .245/.370/.490. I don't think he will hit more doubles and his home runs will down: 20 doubles, 25 home runs, and a .60% BB/K. Can't see the Rays getting Giambi, a DH who can't play in the outfield which isn't what the Rays need right now. His price tag may be around the $10 million mark, but I think he can go down as much as $6 million for a one year contract. Giambi is talking with his former team Oakland, although the Blue Jays remain in interested.
Up next: Pat Burrell.