The prodigal son returns home to finish his career. Tuesday, Jason Giambi signed with the Oakland Athletics. This a great story for Jason as he gets to return home to finish his career.
In 2008, Giambi batted .247 with 32 homers, 96 RBI, 68 runs and 2 steals. The batting average leaves something to be desired, but the power numbers remain consistent with his post-steroid, healthy self. Similar power numbers AND a better batting average are available from most “start worthy” first baseman in 10 or 12-team leagues.
For 2009, fantasy owners who draft Giambi should have no qualms playing him in a corner infielder slot or as a DH/utility player.
The biggest winner in the Giambi-signing: the 2009 fantasy value of Matt Holliday. His stock took a major drop when he got traded from the Colorado Rockies, which is to be expected of a hitter who loses the advantage of playing 81 games at Coors Field. With Jack Cust and Jason Giambi now batting behind him, Holliday’s run totals should be closer to his numbers as a member of the Rockies. His average could also gain some points in comparison to everyone’s readjustments because he will see more pitches. All expected reductions in power numbers are likely to remain.
All of that said, Holliday still shouldn’t be the top outfielder taken in any 2009 fantasy baseball draft. In fact, quickly looking over our 2009 outfielder ranks, he probably is no better right now than the 7th or 8th best outfielder as a member of the A’s.