Jason Giambi announces retirement after 20-year MLB career

After 20 seasons in the majors, Jason Giambi is retiring.

Jim Cowsert/Icon SMI

Indians manager Terry Francona said during the team’s annual Tribe Fest that he expected Jason Giambi to take a year off from baseball. When Giambi returns, it won’t be as a player.

After a 20-year career in the majors, Giambi announced his retirement Monday in a statement to the New York Daily News:

For his career, Giambi played in 2,260 games and had a .277 batting average with 440 home runs (41st all-time) and 1,441 RBI. He was selected to the All-Star Game five times and was the American League MVP in 2000 with Oakland. Giambi also played with the Yankees and Rockies.

Of Giambi’s 440 home runs, 11 were with the Indians and 28 came against the Tribe. Of the 32 parks where he had a home run, 19 were at Jacobs/Progressive Field.

Giambi spent most of last season on the disabled list and played in only 26 games, including 18 starts as designated hitter. He was on the active roster in September and went 2 for 13 with a double and run scored in 11 games. For the season Giambi batted .133 with two home runs and five RBI.

Giambi did drop some hints about his future when he said before the season-finale against Tampa Bay last season: "I’ve been playing this game since I was five years old. That’s your whole life. If you look at it, it’s 40 years of doing the same thing. It’s been unbelievable. It’s been fun."

Last season had been on most road trips and has been more of a coach/player. He has served as a sounding board for Francona and the younger players in the clubhouse.

Giambi said there were times earlier in the season when he could have come off the disabled list, but with him relegated to being a designated hitter that roster spot needed to go to other players. After Carlos Santana’s concussion in late May, another catcher was needed. Giambi didn’t come off the DL until Sept. 1 when the rosters were expanded.

Besides being selfless in the clubhouse, Giambi went beyond that when he gave up his No. 25 when Jim Thome’s statue was unveiled at Progressive Field. Thome announced his retirement during the unveiling on Aug. 2 and Giambi quickly gave Thome his jersey so that he could retire as a member of the Indians.

When he does return to baseball, Giambi should have many opportunities as a coach or manager. Many considered him a serious candidate for the Colorado opening after the 2012 season when he was still with the Rockies.

GIAMBI FIRSTS AND LASTS

CATEGORY FIRST LAST
TEAM OAKLAND CLEVELAND
At-bat 5/8/95 vs. Texas 9/27/14 vs. Tampa Bay
Result Flyout to center Strikeout
Hit 5/8/95 single 9/8/14 double
RBI 7/7/95 vs. Toronto 6/1/14 vs. Colorado
HR 7/8/95 vs. Toronto 5/28/14 at Chicago
Pitcher David Cone Hector Noesi

Indians general manager Chris Antonetti and Francona at some point are also expected to approach Giambi about a future role.