Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told ESPN on Sunday, in an interview dealing with the embattled Jason Giambi, that the team expects the first baseman to be "100-percent healthy" for spring training.
"Yeah, everything is coming back fine," Cashman said. "[Giambi's] 100-percent healthy, ready to go, and we are excited about that."
Cashman spoke at length about the former AL MVP for the first time since the San Francisco Chronicle reported the first baseman testified to a grand jury he had used steroids.
"Our strength and conditioning coach, our trainer, our doctors have been in touch with him throughout the winter," Cashman said. "I actually saw him here in New York when he came back for another, you know, check-up and he looks good.
"You know, he knows he's got a mountain to climb, but he's prepared to climb that mountain."
Asked if the Yankees have sought a way out of Giambi's contract, Cashman denied the Yankees took any steps toward nullifying parts of the deal. Giambi, the 2000 American League MVP with Oakland, signed a seven-year contract with the Yankees before the 2002 season, the sixth-highest deal in baseball history. The contract still runs for four more years at a cost of $82 million.
" if there's any violations of anybody's contracts, we reserve the right to exercise whatever right we have," Cashman said. "But we have not pursued anything with Jason Giambi [and] he's coming to spring training and we are excited about the team we have and we are excited about the potential that he could provide."
Cashman also denied that the signing of Tino Martinez was an insurance policy, or a message to Giambi.
Giambi, who hasn't spoken publicly after the report was published in early December, will address the media during spring training, Cashman said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.