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When Did the A’s Lose Giambi?

Giambi’s first stint with the A’s ended under circumstances that at the time created a lot of bitterness among A’s fans. The team didn’t re-sign him to an extension, and he opted for a trade to the Yankees.

The move, which cost the A’s two top draft picks (Joe Blanton and Jeremy Brown), also changed the way the A’s operated. It pushed the club to part with its Big Three pitching trio of Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Miguel Tejada after the 2004 season.


The A’s have become a team of homegrown superstars, routinely traded away for less expensive alternatives. During the 2000-2001 season, Jason Giambi became the first of these high profile stars to leave the club.

He wasn’t the only one, of course. In fact, the A’s had several other high profile players that year that they traded or gave up.

In addition to losing Giambi, the A’s also dealt John Mabry. Mabry was a solid player and likely would have helped the A’s win some games, but he may not have been a good fit for them in the long term.


Jeremy Giambi played in two and a half seasons with the A’s, starting in 2001. He also played for the Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox, where he was known as a slugger.

The A’s lost a talented, well-hitting player who could have helped them win more games in 2002. He was traded to the Phillies in May and later to Boston for Josh Hancock.

Giambi was a good hitter who could drive in runs, but he was not known for his defense. He had an average arm in right field, but he was prone to throwing bad pitches, which lowered his batting average.

In 2003, Giambi was among the players who testified before a federal grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO), a company at the center of the sports steroid scandal. He said he was using steroids but that he did not use them to boost his numbers.


Jeremy Giambi was on the brink of becoming one of the most important players in Oakland history. He led the A’s in on-base percentage, walks and batting average, and was second in home runs. He was also the first A’s player to ever hit two home runs in a game.

But in the summer of 2004, Giambi was rumored to be a part of a steroid scandal. In December, he testified before a grand jury and was implicated in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative steroid investigation.

As a result, the A’s lost Giambi for most of the season. He was traded to the Phillies in May, and then to the Red Sox in December, where he lost his DH job to David Ortiz. He also played in 26 minor-league games with the Dodgers and White Sox, but he never returned to the majors.


In 2001, Giambi was the center of the A’s offense and their best player. He ranked among the top five in the American League in OPS+, batting average and slugging percentage.

He was also one of the few players on the team to consistently get on base at a high rate, racking up 139 walks that year.

By the time he signed with the Yankees in free agency, Giambi had already established himself as one of the most productive offensive players in MLB history.

In addition to his impressive stats, he was one of the most popular and beloved members of the A’s roster. The A’s lost a lot of fans to the Yankees and Giambi’s departure impacted the organization greatly.


The A’s lost Giambi to free agency in 2002. He had a terrific season, but then the Yankees offered him more money and he decided to go there.

It was an odd move. He was a great player, and his departure threw an enormous loop to those who supported the A’s GM, Billy Beane.

In that moment, it appeared to be a huge blow for the Oakland A’s to let their homegrown star leave town in free agency. The A’s were a big-money ballclub, and Rickey Henderson was the highest-paid player in baseball at the time.

The A’s were also a sabermetrically inclined club at the time, so it was hard to ignore the fact that Giambi’s departure changed everything. Michael Lewis’s book “Moneyball” was based on the A’s 2002 season and it’s easy to see how it would have looked different had they retained Giambi.



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