Jason Giambi made the Colorado Rockies believe that he still has something left in his tank and can pound the ball for the near future. After all, the 40-year-old Giambi and the Rockies exercised a $1 million mutual option for 2012 on Monday.
Giambi came back from the dead this season for one more little campaign with the Rockies. Giambi hit .260 with 13 home runs and 32 RBI in 131 at bats. In 2010, Giambi hit only .244 with a .398 slugging percentage and six home runs, the fewest since his rookie season.
He looked like he was finished.
Apparently, Giambi could handle being ordinary—especially while hitting at Coors Field.
Whether Giambi can continue to produce at 41 is questionable. Maintaining power at that advanced age is very difficult, but Giambi might be able to continue to benefit from the Denver air. However, his bat speed isn't what it used to be.
Giambi doesn't have the body that he used to have, and he just can't move like a young man anymore. With his big body, Giambi can't make great fielding moves at his age. Steroid usage certainly will take a toll on Giambi as he ages, and eventually, the steroids will diminish his strength.
Fortunately, the Rockies don't have much need for him in the field. This season, Giambi played only 170 innings in 29 games at first base. Even when Todd Helton hits age 38 next season, he'll be able to hold his own.
The Rockies are likely counting on just one year of moderate production from Giambi. Using him in pinch-hit appearances and occasional fill-in spots, the Rockies would likely be happy to get 10 home runs and 30 RBI from him again.
Pushing a very old athletic age, Giambi is probably just happy to compete for another year. Giving up on the game is difficult, and it seems like Giambi wants to make use of his body while he still can.
Exercising the option on Giambi isn't a big move for the Rockies, as the Rockies aren't spending big or risking much to keep him. Hopefully, Giambi will still be able to pump some home runs.