Jason Giambi was sick and tired of being sick and tired last season.

A virus sapped his strength, leaving him lifeless. His best attribute — clutch at-bats as a pinch hitter and in spot duty at first base — faded because his bat slowed. Giambi hit .225 with just one home run. He looked like he was done. And when he nearly landed the Rockies manager job, most figured he was headed to retirement.

Spend time with Giambi, 42, and you'd know he wasn't going to let it end this way. He loves baseball. Even as he was pursuing the coaching spot, he had hernia surgery and began working out relentlessly to keep his options open. Troy Tulowitzki trained with his good friend all winter, and was astounded by Giambi's commitment.

An opportunity arose this month in Cleveland, where he signed a $750,000 minor-league deal just days before camp.