I realize the following from the New York Daily News’ Bill Madden and Teri Thomspon is dated May 20, 2007, but I could swear it already ran in early 2005.
Jason Giambi’s admission to USA Today that he once used steroids could lead to the Yankees taking another shot at voiding his contract.
According to baseball sources familiar with the situation who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, the Yankees will revisit the possibility of terminating Giambi’s deal if it is determined that he used illegal drugs after they signed him to a seven-year, $120 million contract in 2001.
If the Yankees do proceed, it will be the second time they have considered such a move.
The club looked into ending its relationship with the player in late 2004 after the San Francisco Chronicle reported that it had viewed transcripts in which Giambi told the grand jury investigating the BALCO steroid scandal in December 2003 that he had used steroids and human growth hormone before signing with the Yankees and while playing for them in 2002 and 2003.
Had the Yankees tried to void his deal then, they would have faced considerable legal hurdles from the Players Association, as they would now. According to sources familiar with his contract, the deal contains language saying it can be voided if he uses illegal substances while with the club. But to win that battle, the Yankees would have to get past provisions in the collective bargaining agreement that the Players Association maintains supersedes those in a player’s contract.
The commissioner’s office is investigating Giambi’s comments to the newspaper and will summon him to a meeting to discuss them. What he says in that meeting – or doesn’t say – may go a long way toward determining how the Yankees proceed.
While attempts to void Giambi’s deal might coincide with his recent published remarks, this also hits the papers while he’s in the midst of a decidedly underwhelming spring — with his club 9 1/2 games behind Boston. Can we assume when and if Giambi goes on another tear, the Yankees will feel better about his $23 million + salary?