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Article:If The Stache Fits

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Believe it or not this is the Giambinos 7th year in pinstripes.  I know…time flies.

Giambi has a $22 million dollar option for 2009 that will more than likely be bought out at the end of the year (for $5 million dollars).  As good as Giambi has been it’s tough to imagine that he will be worth $17 million in 2009.

The Yankees of course can buy out his option and he still resign him at a lower price.

The more I think about it the more it makes sense to bring the Giambino back next year.  The free agent market is razor thin.  The only worthwhile first basemen on the market is Mark Texeria, a Boras client reaching free agency for the first time.  There is no way you get Tex without giving him at least six years and $100 million.  Honestly I don’t think he is worth that cost, especially when you factor in that as a type A free agent Tex will cost the Yankees their first round pick.

The Yankees could elect to fill the void at first base internally if Giambi moves on.

I predicted that Juan Miranda would be starting at first base by the end of this year (as always I’m an idiot.)  Miranda hasn’t been bad at triple A (he’s sporting a .302/.412/.450 line and his walk to strikeout ratio is fantastic [23BB-26K]} It’s the lack of power that is worrisome.   The other internal option would be Wilson Betemit and while he’s shown flashes I don’t know any Yankee fan that’s yearning to make him a regular.

The last option would be to test the trade waters.  However, no MLB team is eager to deal a power hitting first basemen. Carlos Pena could be available if the Rays feel they can’t sign him longterm. The Rockies are always willing to deal Todd Helton and his massive salary, but would he really be an upgrade? Nick Johnson is a former Yankee and a personal favorite of mine, but he’s never been able to stay healthy.

The one truly intriguing trade candidate for the Yankees is Prince Fielder.  New York Post’s Joel Sherman believes Prince Fielder will “almost definitely be available in the off season” and perhaps even this summer.  The Brewers drafted Matt LaPorta in the first round two years ago knowing that they had nowhere to play him (with Braun entrenched in left and Fielder at first.)   They also have another intriguing first base prospect in Matt Gamel.  Fielder is reaching arbitration next year and is sure to get a sizable raise.  He has also been unwilling to discuss a long term extension, something that probably doesn’t sit well with the cost conscious Brewers.

What would the Brewers want in return?

It would take three top prospects if not more.  I doubt they could get a trade done without including Phil Franchise and this would probably be the sticking point in discussions.

Without Phil the Yankees could start a package with Melky Cabrera who would fit nicely between Bruan and Hart. They could add Kennedy, Horne and Tabata who’s stock has fallen but still has tremendous upside.  Even than that probably still wouldn’t be enough to get a deal done.

All in all it seems the Yanks best bet is to give the Stache another year.

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