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Giambi ready to sign 7-year deal worth about $120 million
BOSTON -- Jason Giambi is finally ready to officially join the New York Yankees.
After days of anticipation, New York planned a news conference today at Yankee Stadium to announce a seven-year contract with Giambi worth about $120 million, a baseball official and a lawyer familiar with the talks said on the condition they not be identified.
Giambi's agent, Arn Tellem, traveled to New York on Wednesday to be in town for the news conference, the sources said.
One of the most feared hitters in the game, Giambi will fit perfectly for the Yankees as they try to add more power and patience into their lineup.
Giambi, 30, is the perfect combination of the two, leading the American League in on-base percentage (.477) and slugging (.660) last season. He replaces first baseman Tino Martinez, who hit 34 homers, but only had a .329 on-base percentage.
Giambi hit .342 with 38 homers and 120 RBIs overall last season, finishing second in voting for the AL MVP award after winning in 2000. His left-handed power stroke is ideal for Yankee Stadium with its short right field.
"He's just an outstanding hitter," said Seattle manager Lou Piniella, whose team lost the Yankees in the ALCS. "He had some monster years in Oakland. He would help any ballclub. Giambi is one of the dominating hitters in the game today."
The Yankees made Giambi their top target almost immediately after their World Series loss to Arizona. Manager Joe Torre, pitcher Mike Mussina, Hall of Famer Yogi Berra and New York Mayor and Yankees fan Rudolph Giuliani all made recruiting calls.
At $120 million, the contract would have an average annual value of $17.14 million. That would be the fifth-highest in baseball.