The Hot Stove Rumors has Giambi hoping for a contract with the Yankees.
Based upon the Phillies signing Ibanez to a 3-year deal and effectively giving Burrell his walking papers, I vote we push for Burrell over Giambi.
I've had the pleasure of seeing Burrell play a bunch for the Phillies and can say that he is a hardnosed player that pushes himself on and off the field to compete at a high level. This is a quality that us A's fans really look for in our plucky bunch of players and a big reason Swisher/Ellis/Scutaro have been such favorites.
Burrell is also 5 years younger than Giambi and is only 32, a great age for a strong veteran player. He's been banged up a little from time to time, but he hasn't spent any time on the DL of late - a huge fact for a team plagued by injuries - while Giambi spent a good deal on the DL in 2007. He's managed to play in about 150 games a year since 2001 which shows his durability.
As an outfielder he does have lead feet, but a strong arm that would make him a better option in the field over Cust any day of the week. Originally a 3B he was moved to 1B with Scott Rolen manning the corner and then moved to the OF when they picked up a regular there, so he's played the field and could be a spot replacement or regular.
He has great power numbers and his OBP (.367-.400 over last 4 years) has been excellent - certainly comparable to Giambi and a better average over the past 4 years.
I'm not sure what it would take to sign Burrell, but at the end of his contract he pulled in about $14M while Giambi hosed the Yanks for $23M. I would think Burrell would be a great candidate for a 1 or 2 year contract in which he could play the Frank Thomas role - guy looking to prove he's got great power to share. He'd also would likely sign for less than Giambi - especially if he could be given a lot of time in the field.
Sure it could be pretty hard to make him come west, considering he spent his entire college/pro career on the east coast, but I think some good ol' fashioned sunshine and humidity free air, might just be what the doctor ordered for him to jumpstart his career.
I think it's the intangibles that do it for me on this one. Giambi left a sour taste in my mouth when he left as we couldn't find that power bat to get us over the hump of the 1st round for the next few years and we lost the Big Three. Pat was the face of the Phillies franchise and has always been a strong competitor, never putting himself before the team, and I really root for players that push themselves for their love of the game over the paycheck.
Anyways, just a thought as the A's move forward in their quest for 2009.