Tribe Talk 2013: The Impact of Jason Giambi

Image Photo Rights to Paul Sancya/Associated Press Photo

It is safe to say that the Indians shook things up a bit this off-season.  The multi-year, big money signings of Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn were the headline, but the low-risk, high reward minor league deals given to Scott Kazmir, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jason Giambi went under the radar.  Whether they were the headline or not, I believe that the non-roster invite of Jason Giambi was the most important move of this off-season.  Now, before you come at me and tell me that I have lost my mind, let me explain myself.  I understand that he is 42 and has lost a step, and I also get that his strike out totals have risen mightily in the last 5 years, but Giambi brings something much more than RBI's and home runs.  If Giambi makes the Opening Day roster (and he should) it will be because of his value as a player manager for the Tribe this season.  This is the same Jason Giambi that has experienced 18 years in the bigs, 45 postseason games, 5 All Star selections, an AL MVP and a World Series appearance.  Let's also remember that this is the same guy that was a finalist for the managers position out in Colorado, which shows that he has the tools and the drive to become a big league manager one day.  Will he be a nice fit when the Tribe needs a fill-in designated hitter, absolutely, but his main role will to be a veteran for the younger guys to learn from.  The likes of Lonnie Chisenhall and Jason Kipnis have already learned a few tricks of the trade from #25, and for a team with some young and fresh faces, a guy like Jason is a beautiful fit.  But who he may help more than anyone, is new Tribe manager, Terry Francona.  As good of manager as Tito is, anytime you take over a new club, it can't be an easy transition.  That is why from every interview and article that I have read and seen, Francona has greatly enjoyed having the ol' vet on the roster.  When inviting a guy in to spring camp, you always hope to find a diamond in the rough, or a former All Star looking to make a comeback, but with a guy like Jason Giambi, not only is he an influence on the field, but in the dugout may be where he thrives the most.

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