OAKLAND -- One day after the A's signed the longtime personal trainer of Jason Giambi as their new strength and conditioning coach, the Bay Area was abuzz with talk of Giambi's potential return to Oakland as a free agent.

A's general manager Billy Beane, however, essentially mocked the notion that the return of Bob Alejo, who held the same position in Oakland from 1993-2001 prior to joining Giambi in New York, was a precursor of sorts.

"It's laughable, really," Beane told MLB.com by phone on Wednesday morning from the General Managers Meetings in Dana Point, Calif. "If strength and conditioning coaches were an effective currency to lure free agents, we'd have 10 or 12 strength and conditioning coaches right now."

Giambi, who started his career with the A's in 1994 and was named the American League Most Valuable Player in 2000, left Oakland as a free agent after finishing second in the 2001 AL MVP voting and signed a seven-year, $120 million contract with the Yankees.

The Yankees declined their $22 million option on Giambi on Tuesday, making him eligible for free agency.

Hot Stove

Beane, who noted that Giambi had not yet filed for free agency as of Wednesday morning, rarely discusses free agents publicly as a matter of policy. He would talk only in general terms when asked if he might be open to bringing back the player who helped jump-start Oakland's run of four consecutive playoff appearances from 2000-04.

"We've never really been a team that rules out anything," Beane said.

"But the idea that we'd hire a coach to help us get a free agent," he added with a chuckle, "I think it's safe to say you can rule that out."