Thursday, February 10, 2005

Yanks removed steroid provision from Giambi contract 

From the NY Times...

A person with knowledge of the contract said that before they signed off on Giambi's seven-year, $120 million deal, the Yankees acquiesced to his request and removed all references to steroids from the guarantee language routinely included in contracts.

The Yankees were not innocents in this matter. They didn't say to themselves: Delete references to steroid use? Well, all right if you insist, but why would you want us to do that?

They wanted Giambi badly enough that they relinquished the right to suspend him or stop payment on the contract or terminate the contract or convert it into a nonguaranteed contract if he was found to use steroids. No other words were deleted from that paragraph of the contract, the person said.


That's huge.

If true, not only are the Yanks out of luck in regards to trying to void Giambi's deal, they certainly aren't the innocent victims they portrayed themselves to be.

And arguably, by agreeing to the language, they implicitly endorsed Giambi's use of steroids, and had constructive knowledge that it was an issue.

According to Brian Cashman on Mike and Mike in the morning, with Steve Phillips, The Yankees did not take specific steroid language out of the contract.

At the time the contract was written, there was no specific MLB steroid policy just a general drug policy, and the Yankees wrote language that restricted drug useage. According to Cashman, the language that further restricted drug useage was probably unenforceable, but that the Yankees, as a matter of course in their contract, try to stretch the bounds of what is covered by the Basic Agreement, to protect and extend the Yankees interests.

Giambi's agent rightly objected to the extension of the language, and wanted the Basic agreement language to cover drugs, and Cashmen basicly retreated because he honestly didn't have a leg to stand on.

Cashmen calls the Chass article a "swing and a miss", and that they never specifically softened any steroid language, but did soften the general drug language from unenforceable language back to the Basic agreement language.
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