Yankees slugger Jason Giambi met with former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell and members of his law firm, DLA Piper on Friday, Commissioner Bud Selig announced in a press release. No other details of the meeting were provided. Also in attendance were Rob Manfred, MLB's executive vice president of labor relations and human resources; Mike Weiner, the general counsel for the players association; plus Giambi's agent, Arn Tellem, and his personal attorney, Brian O'Neill. The Associated Press reported that no other meetings between Giambi and Mitchell are planned. Giambi, who has publicly admitted his steroid use, was the first active player to meet with the committee that was established last year to investigate MLB's steroid era.
Union and MLB officials reached a compromise late last month, regarding the context under which Giambi would speak about his past use of performance-enhancing drugs. Giambi didn't have to talk about other players. In addition, there was no transcript or recording of the meeting. On June 6, Commissioner Bud Selig gave Giambi a two-week deadline to make a decision about meeting with Mitchell and then reportedly threatened to suspend the injured first baseman if he didn't comply. At the time, Selig also said he would hold any disciplinary action in abeyance, pending what Giambi has to say to Mitchell. The fact that Giambi agreed to a meeting was a break-through for the committee. During his investigation, Mitchell has had little cooperation from either the union or the individual current players, who previously have all declined to meet with his group. Mitchell was charged with investigating and submitting a report to MLB about the steroid issue nearly 17 months ago. This year, he has been negotiating with the union to obtain medical documents and player interviews, but up until now those efforts have been unsuccessful. His committee doesn't have the authority to subpoena documents or compel testimony. Four years ago, Giambi was among a number of athletes who appeared before a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) for money laundering and the illicit sale of performance-enhancing drugs. In his testimony, illegally leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle, Giambi admitted he had used steroids, although the full text of that testimony has never been released. He came under pressure this season after his more recent statement published in USA Today on May 18 when Giambi vaguely talked about his drug use, saying he shouldn't have used "that stuff." He also chastised MLB by saying: "What we should have done a long time ago was stand up -- players, ownership, everybody -- and said: 'We made a mistake.' We should have apologized back then and made sure we had a rule in place and gone forward." Giambi is currently on the disabled list with a foot injury and hasn't played since May 30. Previously this season, he batted .262 with seven homers and 23 runs batted in. Giambi has one guaranteed year remaining on the seven-year, $120 million free-agent contract he signed prior to the 2002 season. Because the deal was back-loaded, he is owed $21 million for next season and at least a $5 million buyout for 2009.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.