There has been bountiful speculation that the Yankees could try and void Jason Giambi’s contract because of his recent admission regarding steroids.
It’s a juicy story (pun intended) for papers trying to prove they’re now on top of the issue and for preachy columnists. But it’s generally baseless for three reasons:
1. If the Yankees decide they will run Giambi out, who is the DH? Melkjy Cabrera? For all his flaws, Giambi has value in their lineup. The Yankees would make more money winning games and getting in the playoffs than they would trying to recoup money from Giambi. And that’s before the legal fees.
2. The pursuit of free agents going forward would be irreparably harmed by going after Giambi. How could the Yankees recruit free agents? We ditched Giambi but we won’t ditch you if something happens? It’s safe to assume that at least 50 percent of players have taken some sort of substance at some point, even just once. Why would any of those players consider the Yankees?
3. The Yankees would have to prove Giambi used steroids during his time with the team. He’s not going to admit that and has never tested positive. How far is that case getting in front of a judge?
Everybody wants the steroids issue to be wrapped in a pretty bow. Right/wrong, good guys/bad guys.
It’s not that simple. Giambi’s mistake (beyond doing the stuff) was going to Balco for his drugs. That exposed him to scrutiny. There are dozens and dozens of other players who wake up every day hoping the spotlight doesn’t fall on them for something they did in the past.
Trying to void the contract of a player who used steroids opens up a door baseball wants to keep closed. Otherwise finding 25 players for 30 teams is going to become an issue.