Jason Giambi played 20 seasons in the big leagues He finished with over 2000 career hits and 440 home runs, which puts him 41st all-time in that statistic. He was terrific at getting on base, with a .399 career on-base percentage (61st all-time) and he hit for power (.516 slugging percentage, 67th all-time).
Giambi's best years were with the Oakland Athletics from 1999 to 2001. He won the MVP in 2000 and finished 2nd in 2001. Then he got too expensive for the small market A's and signed a mega contract with the New York Yankees (7 years, $120 million). Giambi was a good player for the first two years of the deal, but had just one strong season in the last five years of the deal and dealt with numerous injuries during this time. His last full-time season was 2008. In the six years since then, Giambi has been a part-time player and bat off the bench. Over the last three years, Giambi hit .185/.303/.334. It was definitely time to hang them up.
Late in 2003, Giambi was one of the players named by FBI investigators in the BALCO scandal as having used performance enhancing drugs. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Giambi had admitted to using several different steroids during the off-seasons from 2001 to 2003 and used human growth hormone during the 2003 season. In 2005, Giambi apologized publicly to the media and fans, but did not specifically say what he was apologizing for. Two years later, Giambi apologized again, this time specifically admitting to using steroids.
In announcing his retirement today, Giambi said, "After 20 seasons, I have decided to officially announce my retirement as a Major League Baseball player. To the game of baseball: I started playing you when I was a kid and I'm leaving you a man. Thank you."
Giambi is likely to remain in the game as a coach, but nothing is official in that regard.
While Giambi was saying goodbye to baseball, Alex Rodriguez offered up a hand-written note to apologize for his past mistakes and hopefully get back to playing baseball after missing the entire 2014 season. In his note, Rodriguez wrote, "I take full responsibility for the mistakes that let to my suspension for the 2014 season. I regret that my actions made the situation worse than it needed to be. To Major League Baseball, the Yankees, the Steinbrenner family, the Players Association, and you, the fans, I can only say I'm sorry."
If A-Rod is smart, this will be the last time he brings up his past steroid use. Reporters, of course, will want to ask him questions about it, but he should just say he wants to move on and play baseball and the past is in the past.
As for the outlook for A-Rod in 2015, it's not good. He played in 44 games in 2013 and hit .244/.348/.423 and was roughly a league-average player at the age of 37. Now he's missed a full year and will be coming back as a 39-year-old who is likely to spend most of his time at DH. He'll be paid $22 million dollars this year, $21 million next year, and $21 million the year after that. It's an ugly situation for the Yankees, but they have to see if there's anything left in the tank with A-Rod. Most likely, there isn't much.