NEW YORK -- Facing a Thursday deadline to agree to meet with steroids investigator George Mitchell or else face possible discipline from the commissioner, Jason Giambi has finalized the parameters of negotiated Q&A testimony about his personal use of performance-enhancing drugs and his grand jury testimony in the federal BALCO case.
ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney also reports that a sticking point has come up "at the half-yard line" that is preventing the agreement from being completed, a source said.
Olney previously reported that negotiations between Major League Baseball and the players' union about Giambi testifying were ongoing, with the caveat that Giambi would not be forced to act as a snitch for former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitchell's investigation.
To date, no current players have agreed to talk to the Mitchell-led investigation, or to turn over medical records.
Although the players' union has said baseball has no right to make Giambi testify and promised to fight a suspension or forced testimony, Giambi reportedly does not want to fight commissioner Bud Selig over a possible suspension, according to a New York Daily News report.
The New York Yankees' designated hitter has been on the disabled list since June 1 with a torn plantar fascia in his left foot.
Sources have told Olney previously that Major League Baseball is using Giambi as a bargaining chip to try to give credibility to the Mitchell investigation. Were Giambi to refuse to talk, it would give Selig the option of suspending Giambi -- then picking a fight with the players' union and possibly taking that fight before an arbitrator.
On June 6, Selig said that he would punish Giambi for his comments in USA Today -- which many viewed as admission of steroid use -- and that the severity of the punishment would depend on whether Giambi agreed to talk to the Mitchell investigation.
In the USA Today story, Giambi, replying to a question about steroid use, was quoted as saying, "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.'"
Giambi told a federal grand jury in December 2003 that he used
steroids and human growth hormone, the San Francisco Chronicle
reported in December 2004. Before the start of spring training in
2005, the former American League MVP made repeated general apologies at a news
conference but never used the word "steroids."
Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.