New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi appears close to becoming the first known player to meet with steroids investigator George Mitchell after an agreement was nearly in place Wednesday night between lawyers for Giambi, Major League Baseball and the Players' Assn.
Facing a Thursday deadline, at which time commissioner Bud Selig intended to discipline Giambi for admitting he used performance-enhancing drugs, the sides agreed in principal to an interview and to questions that Giambi would answer. The meeting has not yet been scheduled. MLB officials would not comment on the status of the negotiations.
Giambi will not be asked to divulge the names of other players who used steroids, according to sources, but to disclose his grand jury testimony from the federal BALCO case regarding his own use. According to leaked testimony, Giambi was a heavy steroid user and worked extensively with Barry Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, now in prison for refusing to cooperate with a federal grand jury.
Currently on the disabled list with a foot injury, Giambi likely still faces disciplinary consequences, potentially including a suspension and fines, though the union is expected to contest that on the grounds Giambi has not tested positive under the current drug program.
The Mitchell investigation began 15 months ago, but, lacking subpoena power, has received little, if any, cooperation from players.
Giambi recently told USA Today, "I was wrong for doing that stuff. What we should have done a long time ago was stand up – players, ownership, everybody – and said, 'We made a mistake.' "
In a subsequent meeting, MLB officials requested that Giambi meet with Mitchell.