|He may only be hitting .257, but don't let that fool you: the Giambino is in the midst of a serious contract year.
Perhaps it's the gold thong or the heinous/hilarious Keith Hernandez-meets-porn-star 'stache, but methinks it's simply an effort to convince the baseball Powers That Be that he's worth a few bucks. JG's contract with the Yanks ends after this season, and he's doing his best to ensure he'll get himself another deal somewhere for 2009. He's already hit as many homers as he hit in the entire 2007 season - 14 - and at the pace he's rocking he'll beat his RBI total in just a few days (39 last year and he's at 35 right now). Furthermore, His OBP and slugging % are both higher than last year, he's doing a decent job at first base, and he hasn't had an OPS this high since 2005. He's looking lean(er) and is clearly feeling healthier than he has in years.
Once the season is over, the Yanks have the option of either re-signing him at the steep price of $22 mil for 2009 or buying him out for $5 million. I'd imagine that they will likely take the latter route; it would be hard to justify spending that kind of dough on a 38-year-old DH who is at best average in the field (even for the Yankees). Regardless of that, though, there is still a chance that they might draw up a new contract and keep him in pinstripes for another year anyway. He said that he'd like to play until he's 40, so he'll obviously be on the prowl for a deal, and the Yanks certainly like keeping their veterans around (Jorgie Porgie, Mo, Dandy Andy, et al). If the Yankees decide to find an actual first baseman and use Matsui and/or Jorgie to fill the DH role, they'd probably have no use for him, but I'm sure some AL team would be happy to have a guy that gets on base 40% of the time in their lineup.
Personally, I like the dear beast and would love to see him on the Yanks - IF there were a spot for him, which I don't think there is. The Yanks need a real first baseman, someone that can play defense, and if they're wise they'll make some sort of move to secure such a man. What dost thou think? Love him or leave him? Or both?