Actually, the battle will be whether or not Daric Barton will improve enough to start at 1B moving Jason Giambi to DH. But, the A’s will not just give Barton the job especially due to his poor play in 2008. 23-year old lefty swinging Daric Barton played in 140 games last season for the A’s and he was 101 for 446 (.226 avg, .675 OPS) with 59 runs scored, 9 homers and 47 RBIs. Barton appeared to take his hitting problems into the field with him in 2008 as he made 13 errors at first base while playing in 134 games there. If Barton doesn’t have a good spring he could start the 2009 season in AAA ball.
38-year old lefty swinging Jason Giambi was signed in the off-season to either DH full time or be the first baseman. Giambi played in 145 games for the Yankees last season and he was 113 for 458 (.247 avg, .875 OPS) with 68 runs scored, 32 homers and 96 RBIs. Giambi is a butcher with the glove however as he made 9 errors in 113 games at 1B in 2008. The A’s would be better off with Giambi at DH but that will depend on Daric Barton’s play this spring.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: WITH BARTON STARTING: D-
WITH GIAMBI STARTING: B-