500 words on Joba Chamberlain

ALDS Game Thread: Rays @ Rangers
NLDS Game Thread: Giants @ Braves
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Even when the Yankees sweep an easy playoff series, controversy somehow manages to find the team. After all, baseball fans and reporters who face five and a half days without baseball have to find something to talk about during the downtime. The topic of the week, as it often is, will be Joba Chamberlain.

During the ALDS, only 18 of the Yanks’ 25 active players saw game action, and only seven pitchers — three starters, Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, Kerry Wood and Boone Logan — reached the mound. Absent among those was Joba Chamberlain, the once and, hopefully, future pitching stud. Of course, since Joba is Joba, that he didn’t pitch in the ALDS has elicited analysis of the moves and predictions of a Joba-less future for the Yankees.

The why of it is simple: Joba Chamberlain wasn’t in the Yanks’ plans for the ALDS, and the situation for him to pitch never arrived. In Game 1, Joe Girardi used his close-game staff. After CC Sabathia left in the 7th, Boone Logan came in for the lefties and David Robertson for the righties. For the 8th with a two-run lead, Girardi gave the ball to set-up man Kerry Wood, and Mariano got the ninth. In Game 2, Andy Pettitte went 7, and Wood and Mo closed out a three-run game. Joe Girardi’s strategy was not a mystery.

For Game 3, the circumstances changed. After Phil Hughes‘ utterly dominant seven-inning outing, the Yanks had a 6-0 lead with six outs left. For the first time in the series, Girardi could have moved down the depth charts. He could have gone to Joba, but in the past, Girardi’s M.O. for playoff-clinchers has been a no-nonsense one. Mariano Rivera is always on the mound, and the top relievers get the ball before him. It’s not a surprise then that Girardi never went with Joba.

The Yankees and Joba had a difficult relationship in 2010. After he struggled as a starter at the end of 2009, Chamberlain spent the year in the bullpen, and he ended the season a 4.40 ERA but 77 strike outs in 71.2 innings. He cut his walk rates and his home run rates but seemed to meltdown at the wrong time. Still, over his final 30 appearances, Joba sported a 2.15 ERA and a 6:1 K:BB rate. He was a very good reliever down the stretch, but he hasn’t moved up on the depth charts.

Once the Yanks’ 2010 campaign is over, the team will have to address Joba’s future. As Ken Davidoff highlighted yesterday, Joba is arbitration-eligible this year and is due for a raise. As the Yanks showed with Melky Cabrera, they’re willing to trade players who are making more than the team feels they are worth, and Davidoff believes the Yanks will listen to offers on Joba and may be willing to include him in a trade.

But for now, there’s plenty of baseball left, and Joba will have his time to sink or swim. That he didn’t pitch in the ALDS simply means that the team’s other hurlers did their jobs and nothing more.

ALDS Game Thread: Rays @ Rangers
NLDS Game Thread: Giants @ Braves
  • Not Tank the Frank

    Hopefully, the Yankees realize how utterly important it is to have depth at starting pitching and DON’T trade him unless they can get a similar arm in another trade.

    Trading Joba is a tough proposition. He’s no Melky Cabrera. You don’t trade him for a bag of balls, but I’m not exactly sure what he could realistically net in a trade.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      The return depends on what role the other team sees him in. If they see him as an RP, the return will likely be low and there’s no point to trading him. If it seems him as a starter, the return will be bigger and worth listening to.

    • lardin

      Rumor has it, the Blue Jays wanted him in a deal for Halladay. Should have made that trade.

      • vinny-b

        and/or should have traded him for Dan Haren.

      • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

        Rumor has it that this rumor was made up and never on the table.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

          IIRC he was the second piece if Montero was sent for Halladay.

          • pete

            the second, but far from the last.

        • http://itsaboutthemoney.net Brien Jackson

          As I remember, the rumor was that they wanted Joba…and Montero and Hughes,

      • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

        Rumor has it, Jays asked for Montero + Hughes or Joba + more

        • OldYanksFan

          I don’t know what the real ‘rumors’ said, but I think I can state with some weight that the J’s had no real desire to see their Ace go to the Yankees. My guess is they asked for 50% more then they would have accepted from any other team.

          It’s one thing to trade talent in a fair deal. It’s another thing to drain the farm and get taken advantage of.

          No team wants to help the Yankees, and they will always dangle a trade in hopes that we will grossly overpay.

          I’ve very glad Cashman isn’t George (rest his soul).
          A few more years of tough love from Cashman, and maybe the trade playing field will level out for us.

          • Ted Nelson

            I can see the Blue Jays hesitating to trade possibly the best pitcher in baseball to a divisional rival (where they’ll face him an awful lot), but I don’t think there’s a general conspiracy throughout baseball not to help the Yankees (any more than any other team). A GM is not going to risk his livelihood out of spite for the Yankees by making an inferior trade to what they could have offered. If other teams cared that much they’d just enact a salary cap. Teams are often happy to trade with the Yankees, as they’re willing to take on salaries that other teams cannot absorb.

      • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

        Oh, Joba was one of four players in a package the Blue Jays wanted for Haladay.
        You make is sound like the were hawking Haliday for Chamberlain, and Cashman slammed the phone down.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

      I think the Yankees realize how important it is to have depth at starting pitcher, however, they also realize how volatile young pitchers are and how phenoms can totally disappear due to injury, which may have happened to Chamberlain. Furthermore, I don’t think that they view him as starting pitching depth, otherwise he wouldn’t have been a reliever, or at the very least he would have been used differently. As far as “starting pitching depth” he’s probably below Nova as of now, and soon he might even be behind Warren, Phelps, and Stonebruner. The way that he was used, it’s a tough transition back to the rotation. He pitched 70 innings this year, you honestly think he’d be ready to go back into a starter’s role if someone gets injured? If they want him to be a starter, that likely means a lot of time in Scranton and he probably won’t be ready to start until 2012 or late 2011 at the earliest…since he’s arb eligible that’s a lot of change to drop on a project. He really hasn’t shown that he’s ready to go back to the rotation next year either, nor do you want to count on Joba Chamberlain being the 5th starter given AJ Burnett’s issues both in past health and current shittiness and Pettitte’s old age.

      On the other hand, I don’t think he’ll be traded. They passed up dealing him for Haren, which I’m still fuming over, and it’s unlikely they get a better offer than that. I’ll admit, I’m quite the pessimist when it comes to Chamberlain. I simply don’t think he’ll succeed as a major league starter the way we all thought he would in 2008. However, the Yankees really haven’t given him the best chance to succeed. The early call up in 2007, the move BACK to the bullpen in 2008 and not allowing him to go back to Scranton and start after acquiring Wood were all moves that I questioned. I would have sent his ass to Scranton the minute they traded for Wood, and transitioned him back to the rotation…but what’s done is done.

      • Ted Nelson

        I don’t know what the Yankees plans are, but I think you’re jumping to conclusions. Your scenario is a possibility, but I actually sort of doubt it. The Yankees are not dumb. They know Joba still has a good chance at being an above average ML starter. They aren’t holding onto him hoping he’ll be the best 5th reliever in baseball…

        “The way that he was used, it’s a tough transition back to the rotation. He pitched 70 innings this year, you honestly think he’d be ready to go back into a starter’s role if someone gets injured?”

        Phil Hughes was a reliever last season (threw about 100 innings between AAA and NY) and managed to be one of the better starters in baseball this season. So, yes, I absolutely think Joba **CAN** be ready to start next season. If he’s not ready, he’s got no one to blame but himself.

        “They passed up dealing him for Haren, which I’m still fuming over, and it’s unlikely they get a better offer than that.”

        Ask yourself, did the Yankees not trade a middle reliever for Dan Haren? Not even their set-up man… They really didn’t trade the long-term 5th guy out of their bullpen for a quality starter with problems Javy and AJ were having? If the Yankees actually passed on this opportunity, chances are it was financially motivated and/or they have bigger plans for Joba going forward.

        • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

          “Phil Hughes was a reliever last season (threw about 100 innings between AAA and NY) and managed to be one of the better starters in baseball this season. So, yes, I absolutely think Joba **CAN** be ready to start next season.”

          He’s not nearly as good as Phil Hughes, I don’t care how hyped up he once was.

          • The Big City of Dreams

            But the hype was real though. Everything changed once he got injured and the rules last yr didn’t help him. How do you give him long rest, short rest, long rest, and then 3 inning relief starts and expect the kid to pitch well. Pitchers rely on routines and in August/September Joba didn’t have a set routine

          • Ted Nelson

            “He’s not nearly as good as Phil Hughes, I don’t care how hyped up he once was.”

            Do you care about results?

            I’m not saying Joba is going to be exactly as good as Phil Hughes–though I think every indication is that he still can be as good or better–but that he can be a successful ML starter. Hughes had a strong season, but he wasn’t any better than Joba was up until the last 2 months of 09 (as The Big City of Dreams says).

            • The Big City of Dreams

              Thank you for the shout out Ted

    • The Big City of Dreams

      I don’t want him to get traded either but to me it seems like he’s being phased out. Truth be told what role does he serve on the team. Wood is the 8th inning guy, Robertson has the 7th, there are no spots in the rotation, etc. He’s at middle reliever which are a dime a dozen

      • Ted Nelson

        Wood is unlikely to be back next season anyway, but I doubt Joba’s a middle reliever long-term. He’s got the stuff to either be a starter or a closer. If Pettitte retires and/or they don’t sign Cliff Lee there absolutely is an opening in the Yankees rotation. I would still call Joba by far the best internal candidate if either’s the case.

        • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

          “Wood is unlikely to be back next season anyway, but I doubt Joba’s a middle reliever long-term. He’s got the stuff to either be a starter or a closer.”

          I have not seen closer-type stuff from him in about 2 years. There was not a single time this season when he came into a ballgame and I thought, “man, this guy can close!”
          I don’t know what happened to his arm, but he is not the same pitcher as the guy who was once blowing people away.
          You are hyping him up based on what you saw when he first arrived.

          • Ted Nelson

            First of all, let’s say you are right… has no pitcher in his mid-20s ever bounced back or improved?

            You don’t have to be Mariano Rivera to be a closer. He absolutely has closer stuff and stats that suggest he can be a closer. Plenty of inferior pitchers have been given the chance to close. He was a successful starter for most of last season. He’s still only coming off his 24 year old season. Let’s have some patience.

            “I have not seen closer-type stuff from him in about 2 years.”

            I guess you didn’t watch any game he started in June or July of last season when he absolutely dominated?

          • Ted Nelson

            Also, Chris, part of my point is that if the Yankees saw Joba as a middle reliever… they would have been more likely to have traded him by now. If they saw him as a middle reliever and some other team wanted him to start… chances are that team would be willing to offer more than the value the Yankees place on him.

            “You are hyping him up based on what you saw when he first arrived.”

            I am not hyping him in any way. I am trying to be as objective as possible and look at the stats. His 2010 stats aren’t far from his 2008 stats. He was very successful in Aug/Sep of this season, so I don’t know how many Yankee games you actually watch if you claim he hasn’t been good in 2 years…

        • The Big City of Dreams

          Very well said Ted but can you imagine the pressure he will be under to close. I’m still under the belief that’s one role he would do if he had to but doesn’t exactly want to do it. I still feel he wants to start but it doesn’t seem like he will get the chance. Is Andy at the point where he wants to walk away?

  • vinny-b

    thankful Joba hasn’t been pitching in this series.

    hopefully, Joba reflected and took this away from watching Phil Hughes’ performance yesterday: what could’ve been

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      Hopefully Cashman reflected and said the same

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Hopefully he did. I still want to know if those within the organization over ruled him during the spring on what to do with Joba

  • J

    Maybe we could package Joba, Gardner and a prospect to get someone real good.

    • http://www.yfsf.org AndrewYF

      You mean someone real good like Gardner?

    • Rob

      Matt Kemp?

    • Dalelama

      I agree get rid of Gardner (at his peak value) and Joba for good starter and sign Crawford.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        Why not just sign Lee and keep Gardner?

        • http://itsaboutthemoney.net Brien Jackson

          Because Gardner is teh suck.


          • Captain Jack

            I mean, I love Gardner too but I doubt he’s this good again. I wouldn’t be opposed to dealing him at his peak value, provided the return is something really good (not that Gardner isn’t, I’m just not opposed to dealing good for good)

            • Ted Nelson

              Gardner is good and price controlled. Also, his improvement this season has come in patience. His improvement is almost entirely due to walking more. His BA was only 7 points above last season’s, his SLG% was the exact same. He mostly just walked more. I have made absolutely no attempt to study the issue, but plate discipline doesn’t seem as variable season-to-season as something like BABIP or even a power surge. I wouldn’t be opposed the Yankees moving him in the right deal, I just think he might be this “good” (106 OPS+) for the long-term, at least until he loses a step. Off the top of my head I can’t think of a better player the Yankees can trade him for than Cliff Lee. (If Lee spurns the Yanks, things change a bit and signing a Crawford/Werth/whoever to trade Gardner for a starter might become more attractive.)

            • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

              “I mean, I love Gardner too but I doubt he’s this good again.”

              Right…….I’m sure next year he WON’T get on base over 37% of the time, will run the bases with a piano on his back, and will stop robbing opposing players of doubles. He was totally lucky this year with his speed.

      • http://www.paychex.com chris c.

        “I agree get rid of Gardner (at his peak value) and Joba for good starter and sign Crawford.”

        Let me get this straight……..you want to replace Brett Gardner, a guy who doesn’t even make half a million bucks a year, with a guy who will be looking for 14-15 mill per season, and who’s only advantage over Gardner is home runs, which the Yankees hit over 200 of them anyway?
        That sounds like an outrageously poor business decision.

        And assuming a guy who hasn’t even entered his prime yet to be at “peak Value” is purely guesswork on your part. I mean, I think Gardner has a ton to improve on offensively, and he STILL had a OBP of .385!! It’s not as if he hit out of his mind this year and there’s nowhere to go but down.

        • Dalelama

          It is my personal belief that the word is out on Gardner that if you just throw him strikes he can’t hurt you. He is of little use against good pitching which is why he disappears in the post season. To me he is a just a faster but poorer hitting version of Nick Johnson. I would more disposed to holding a sensible stance with Jeter and using the savings on Crawford.

  • All Star Carl
  • Steve

    Joba and Montero for Zack Greinke?

    • All Star Carl


    • pete

      No thanks

    • steven

      no grenkie is 2 inconsistent I don’t think be able 2 get back to his 08 numbers or pitch in the al east plus i wish they kept montero

      • pete

        I think he could easily replicate his ’08 numbers, provided his SAD doesn’t fuck him over in New York. Asking him to replicate his ’09, however, would be absurd.

      • Ted Nelson

        Even in 2010 his WAR was still 5.2… CC’s was 5.1. Greinke’s FIP of 3.34 was 20th in the league. (In ’09 obviously it was #1.) I’m not saying definitely trade for the guy, but he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball.

    • DallasGreen

      hell no

    • Gonzo

      I don’t know why everyone is clear in saying no. A reliever and a great bat without a clear-cut position for a top tier pitcher signed to a decent contract? If it wasn’t for Grienke’s issues, I would do that in a heartbeat.

      • Poopy Pants

        Greinke has mental health issues and said he doesn’t want pressure and doesn’t want to be in ny.

        • Captain Jack

          He needs to be on lithium to function correctly, keep him in KC…let him finish his career as the franchises second greatest player.

    • Avi

      Are you a Red Sox fan?
      Not funny.

    • Avi

      I think Greinke will be traded. His salary is scheduled to go from $7.25 mil this year to $13.5 mil next; which would make him the highest paid Royal EVER!
      Being that if he’s traded it’ll be to dump salary the Yanks would be able to get him for something FAR less than Jesus Montero.
      Something like Nova, Eduardo Nunez and Slade Heathcott will be about the value the Royals will be able to bring back for him.

      I would only trade Montero if I were getting a true ace, who’s thirty or under, and at least two years away from free agency.
      The ONLY position player I’d trade him for is Hanley Ramirez.
      That’s right, I wouldn’t trade Montero for Albert Pujols. The upgrade that Pujols gives you over other available 1B/DH bats (Dunn, Konerko Etc) doesn’t warrant loosing Jesus.

      • Ted Nelson

        I disagree about his value. Greinke is still WAY underpaid at $13.5 mil (even in this poor season his WAR puts his value at $21 mill… last season it was $42.5 mill). The Royals could justify keeping him, and other teams will not find a pitcher as good as Greinke on either the FA or trade market for anything near $13.5 mil. Who is the #2 pitcher on the FA market after Lee? What other guy entering his 27 year old season and one year removed from a Cy Young season will be on the trade market? I doubt the Royals can’t get something more than fringe prospects and a A guy with promise for one of the better pitchers in baseball making way less than AJ Burnett.

        “I would only trade Montero if I were getting a true ace, who’s thirty or under, and at least two years away from free agency.”

        How many guys fit that description better than Greinke? 5.2 WAR this season and 9.4 WAR last season? CC has been at 5.1 and 6.3 those same seasons… Greinke would likely become the Yankees’ ace immediately if he could deal with playing in NYC.

      • JAG

        Are you talking about only plausible trade candidates? Because you’re crazy if you would hang up on ANY non-Hanley deal. You’re seriously telling me if the Rays wanted to give you Longoria for Montero you’d say no? Or if the Rockies wanted to toss Tulo your way? Montero’s a great prospect and I’m eagerly awaiting his arrival but he’s not untouchable. Admittedly there aren’t a lot of pitchers that meet your criteria that are available because…well…teams just don’t trade guys like that. It’s like you’re asking for someone to offer up Felix or Lester or someone. Those players don’t get traded, they get locked up.


  • steve (different one)

    sure, Joba could have pitched last night, but if you win, you get FIVE days off. there was no reason to “save” any bullets.

    in the regular season, you use someone other than Wood/Mo to close out the game, b/c you are playing the next day. it’s a trade-off, you take a (very slightly) diminished chance at winning the game so you don’t burn out your bullpen. there was no danger of that happening this week, so you might as well step on their throats.

    i realize i am not arguing with the point of the piece, just stating why there really shouldn’t be any “controversy”: the series was over before it started. 27 innings, 23.1 innings by the starters and Mo. it was basically the most ideal scenario you could hope for.

    • pete

      you said it right there. 3.2 innings from non-Mo relievers in 3 games over 4 days means we didn’t need joba.

  • http://www.yfsf.org AndrewYF

    But Melky Cabrera was a player who was replaced by far better position players, and he had pretty much no role on this Yankee team other than mediocre bench player with mediocre speed and mediocre defense.

    Is everyone in next year’s Yankee bullpen going to be far better than Chamberlain? No, of course not. Thus, the Yankees will keep Joba and his paltry ~$1.5M salary, unless they can extract real value out of him.

    • Captain Jack

      There were plenty of relievers who were far better than Chamberlain. I’m still pissed him and Noesi weren’t shipped for Danny Haren.

      • http://www.yfsf.org AndrewYF

        That’s…not my point (and there was never any Joba+Noesi deal on the table. Why do people make up trade rumors to try and make some kind of point?). If Joba is not worse than 7 other relievers on the Yankees, then it makes no sense to trade him just to trade him.

        If you can get value out of him, fine (although it violates the ‘selling low’ law), but unless he’s making in excess of $4M next year (which won’t happen), he is not worth less than his salary.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

          If Joba isn’t worse than seven other relievers, but they’re offering something better then there is a point of trading him.

      • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

        This is gobsmackingly stupid. How do you know this was an available trade for the Yankees to make?

        If your answer is “I think Jayson Stark said it was a possibility”–he clearly has zero reliable Yankees sources.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

          Because they took Joe Saunders, one semi-decent prospect, and two crappy prospects for Dan Haren. I’m sure Ivan Nova, Dan Haren, Hector Noesi, and Brandon Laird instead of what they got. Plus it was rumored before hand that they wanted Ivan Nova in any deal. I’m sure Nova, Chamberlain, Noesi, and Laird is better than a left handed Andy Sonnanstine.

          • Ted Nelson

            It goes beyond even “was it available?” to “why didn’t they do it?” Cashman is not an idiot. Maybe his reason turns out to be a bad one in the long-run, but I’m quite sure he had one. As far as I know Cashman has maintained that Joba is a starter long-term.

            • The Big City of Dreams

              As “far as I know Cashman has maintained that Joba is a starter long-term.”

              But is that just lip service to motivate Joba.

              • Ted Nelson

                I don’t know the answer…

                At first I thought they were grooming him to replace Mo… but that was just speculation on my part.

                He was successful for enough of the 2009 season as a starter that I don’t see why he wouldn’t get another chance to start… either on the Yankees or whenever he gets to another organization. Unless he becomes–and is paid like–a closer either on the Yankees or another org. Maybe he fails in one or both roles and ends up in middle relief long-term, but I doubt that’s where the Yankees *want* him to be/envision him. It certainly not where he wants to be–both from a baseball and financial perspective–and I’m sure when he has the chance he’ll do what he can to start or maybe close if that doesn’t work out. He’s got to start doing whatever he can this offseason by working hard like Hughes did last offseason.

                • The Big City of Dreams

                  Yes he needs to put in work this off season and attack the game the same way he did before he got injured. I look at his videos from 2007 and think he needs to get back to that weight. Hopefully everything falls into place after that

  • Mike Nitabach

    The problem with Joba is that when he gets in a little trouble, he has a tendency to just collapse completely. My anecdotal impression is that this has happened disproportionately frequently with two outs. I suspect this is why Girardi is loath to use him in meaningful spots, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his only appearances in the post-season turn out to be junk innings with the Yankees way down in a game.

    • pete

      I think it has more to do with the fact that Mo is Mo, Wood has been lights-out since joining the team, Robertson is more consistent, and Logan has become a quality lefty reliever. Joba has been inconsistent all year, and essentially represents, in terms of stuff, a lesser version of Kerry Wood. It’s not that Girardi doesn’t trust him as much as that he trusts Mo, Wood, Robertson, and Logan (vs. lefties) more

  • Pat D

    I’m not sure of what kind of trade there could be that I would include Joba.

    That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is traded.

  • vin

    Who was it that mentioned the Twins are a good-hitting team vs. the slider? I thought I saw it during last night’s post-game. Maybe Girardi said it. Basically, the thought was that Robertson’s fastball-curveball approach was a better matchup against the Twins than Joba’s fastball-slider. Perhaps someone here has a better memory than me.

  • Tom Merritt

    If I were the GM I would dump Joba in a trade. He has not come close to his velocity from early in his career. Not sure what the problem is but I’m tired of seeing it. He’s a loser as a starter and out of the pen as well. Don’t want to see him in pinstripes next year. Package him and the ultimate waste product, A.J., in some trade for anything. No matter what happens with the rest of the post season, the Yankees need some intelligent cleaning up of the roster.

    Not sure what they will do with the Jeter problem. I would not want to have to solve that one. A potential lose lose situation. They will be crazy to give Jeter another big contract. That is very likely exactly what they will do.

    • CS Yankee

      Fail in all three counts…

      1) While Joba didn’t perform as well as Hughes did last year and that Logan, Drob & Wood are exceeding expectations does not take away from Joba. He seems to be the 6th inning guy this postseason, which is a really good problem to have. I would expect him to be the fifth starter next year and have the pen of Logan, Albie, Drob & Mo.
      2) AJ has stunk up the joint this year but no team will assume more than maybe 5-10M$ of his contract. I expect a rebound next season and recall quite a few big arms that had a year (or two) that were throw aways.
      3) Jete batted over .350 this September and has been real solid so far in October. His fielding is at a all-time high of .989 while commiting just 6 errors this year which is comparable to Cano’s 3 when you factor in the longer throw. His .270 BA was sad but he has played 15+ years and was due for a bad one. He is declining but name 5 better SS?…name one who is available and an upgrade? he deserves a 3-4 year 50-60M$ package.

      • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

        I don’t think that’s how errors work.

        • CS Yankee

          Point is that a SS should have more errors than a 2B, and an OF should have much less than any IF’er.

          The Jeter bashing on defense is really old, he has less range towards 2B than most but along with Cano make a solid MIF. Jeter, will get his payday and it is silly for posters to bitch about it. He has delivered, is likely to bring positive WAR going forward and should be treated with a greater respect than a Damon (rented player) or Matsui (unhealthy player).

          • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

            Jeter had 553 chances (via Yahoo) this year, 6 errors.
            Cano had 776 chances (via Yahoo) this year, 3 errors.

            So if Jeter had as many chances as Cano he’d have 3-4x more errors than Cano, is that how many errors he SHOULD have compared to a 2B?

            Saying Jeter lacks range, it’s not bashing, it’s the truth. Gardner lacks power, it’s not bashing it’s the truth
            Jeter is still a good overall SS and our best option going forward, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have flaws, and doesn’t mean fans can’t feel uneasy about potentially giving him a 4-5 year contract

          • Ted Nelson

            “have the pen of Logan, Albie, Drob & Mo.”

            Which guy doesn’t fit? If Albaladejo is the Yankees #2 righty set-up guy next season… we’ve got a problem.

            I also think Joba might be the #5 starter, but it’s pretty muchly only happening if Pettitte retires or the Yankees cheap out on Lee.

            “I expect a rebound next season and recall quite a few big arms that had a year (or two) that were throw aways.”

            I also think he can/will rebound, but it’s not like he’s a lot better than this in the first place…

            “should be treated with a greater respect”

            You can treat someone with respect without throwing money at them. It’s a complicated situation, but I’d hope the Yankees try to take some pulse for Jeter’s market value and not grossly overpay above that.

            • Ted Nelson

              “I’d hope the Yankees try to take some pulse for Jeter’s market value and not grossly overpay above that.”

              That was pretty much their stance with Damon, who wanted way more than any other team would pay. He held out on the Yankees and didn’t get all that much more than they offered up-front as I recall. With Matsui they also knew what his market value was based on what the Angels offered, and just didn’t want to pay it for whatever reasons.

    • vinny-b

      which is why i haven’t been cheering for him, the past 2 months.

    • pete

      Joba has hit 98 on several occasions this year, and has been steadily mid-90s for a couple months. If you thought his 98-101 from ’07 (or anything else from ’07, namely the 0.38 ERA) was sustainable, that’s your problem. Joba was awesome as a starter in ’08, hurt his shoulder when Pudge’s throw down to 2nd was too low and he had to dive out of the way, and took a long time to regain his old velocity. He was mediocre for most of the year last year as a starter (not his dominant ’08 self, but certainly not a “loser”, as far as 23/24 year old starters in the AL East are concerned) with stuff that didn’t even approach the levels it had been in ’07-’08.

      While he hasn’t gotten all the way back to that this year, I don’t think it would be outlandish to expect him to generally sit 93-95 (similar to Hughes) as a starter if he were to start next year. His peripherals this year have been good all the way through, and that has, as the article above (which you appear not to have bothered reading) demonstrates, translated into very good results the past couple of months. Unfortunately for Joba (and fortunately for the Yankees), that has coincided with the typical August-on dominance that we have come to expect from a Girardi-manned bullpen, so Joba’s resurgence hasn’t stuck out.

      All that being said, Joba going a year without throwing a changeup or many curveballs or more than an inning at a time will probably have set him back where starting is concerned. I still think he ought to be in the rotation next year, whether in the bigs or in AAA, but I’m not as confident as I initially was in that happening.

  • Tom Merritt

    The other thing I will add is that I really hope the Yankees will keep Kerry Wood!!! He could be a big asset for several more years. I am amazed at how effortlessly he throws 96-97 mph. I would pay whatever it takes to keep him in pinstripes.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      So if Wood wanted 2 years/20m you would want Cash to pay him?

      And if he gets hurt or continues to walk 6 guys per 9 next year will you say if you were the GM you’d dump the ultimate waste product Wood?

    • CS Yankee

      I’m not trying to pick on you but Wood has like a 10-11M$ option and will likely get 8-10 as the closer. No team does that…in fact, the yankees will have 3-5 decent setup guys for half that amount going into 2011.

      He wouldn’t want to be the second fiddle and it was a fluke we got him like we did. Gordon was tired of the 8th role and finally got the closer role in Philly.


      This postseason he is prooving his talent and it is a win-win for both parties involved. He will cash in elsewhere next season and the Yankees know that setup men come and go and they can just grab the next over-loked talent come July if needed.

  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

    If it was up to me, I probably wouldn’t trade him. I think his value is pretty low at this point which would obviously hurt his return. The other thing is that the trading partner, even if they really believed it, wouldn’t have to say they view Joba as a starter which would, again, drive down his value. Just keep him for now unless you get blown away.

    • pete

      Agreed. I’d try to arrange for him to have a full-time personal trainer over the offseason, get into better shape, give the arm some rest and then start stretching it out, and have him come to ST as a starter. If at the end of spring training the team has 5 better starters, put him in AAA as injury/Burnett insurance.

      I’m not sure that the team will wind up with both Pettitte and Lee next year, and there’s no guarantee that Burnett pitches better than he did this year, even if he comes out of the gate strong. I think it would greatly behoove the Yankees to have Joba start all year next year, regardless of where he pitches. Pettitte is certainly going to be an injury risk next season if he does come back, and there are never any guarantees anyway. Hughes had a big innings jump this year, Sabathia has thrown over six million innings in the past 4 years, Burnett is only a couple years removed from having an “injury-prone” label of his own, etc. etc.

      I’m not wildly confident (actually not very confident at all) that the Yankees will do it, but Joba should absolutely be starting next season. It really doesn’t matter where.

      • Poopy Pants

        They should have done that for 2010 and didn’t. Instead, they let him rot in mediocrity and destroyed his trade value in the pen.

        • The Big City of Dreams

          They put him in the pen because all the ppl that wanted him to be a reliever were dying to be proved right. Many months later he’s a middle reliever. Congrats guys…really good job

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Isn’t Joba out of options to be sent to AAA?

  • Camilo Gerardo

    are Sizemore/Kemp/Rasmus available?

    • Gonzo

      I love the idea if Grandy wasn’t already in the fold. Damn, I would love to see Rasmus in pinstripes.

      • http://itsaboutthemoney.net Brien Jackson

        For the right price, I’d replace Gardner with Rasmus in a heartbeat.

  • DallasGreen

    Looks like Joba’s gonna have the same role a D-Rob had during last years postseason – you’ll see him in extra inning situations if they present themselves. You may also see him to eat an inning in a losing mop-up roll. As for his future beyond this season, who knows?

    • The Big City of Dreams

      From 8th inning to mop-up guy what a transition

  • Gonzo

    If Cliff Lee is somehow not obtained, I could see a blockbuster of a trade that included Montero, Joba, and another very tough piece to part with, for a Cain/Josh Johnson/Greinke type player.

    • beer boy

      marlins for sure dont want arb eligible joba cuz they are cheap!

      • Gonzo

        They could do what they did with Melky and ship some cash in the deal to pay for some of his arb raise. Joba is at least cheaper than Josh Johnson. They could trade Joba in a year if he has success as a starter.

        You migh be right though.

  • KDB

    Joba has real value for a second tier team, trade him one up for a piece
    such as a AA shortstop that may make the grade. The Yankees loaded up on minor league catchers pending Jorge’s departure, why not do the same for Jeter? By real value I mean starting, or closing.

    • beer boy

      i dont think you can get a stud SS prospect for joba b/c his value is low and he’s going to be arb eligible. maybe another nunez type of player but will that be worth it?

      • Gonzo

        I think you might be right. Joba has real value for a team, but he doesn’t really have a lot of tradeable value for the Yanks.

  • jim p

    As the season went on it looked to me that Joba showed more command of his fastball. Not sure if the stats back that up.

    Hughes, last year, showed he had FB command. Since successful pitchers, the truism runs, build on their fastball, he was moved to starter.

    If my eyes didn’t deceive me, and if we get Lee, but not Pettitte, I’d think he’ll get a chance to start next year. Otherwise, it’s the pen for another year, and, hate to say it, maybe a trade.

    But I don’t think they’ve given up on Joba and would want a lot back.

    • pete

      I just don’t think there’s any way that Joba can get to being more than modestly valuable out of the ‘pen without showing the exact same stuff that enabled him to be much more valuable in the rotation.

      And I think every single season in the history of ever (apart from Tampa’s ’08, I guess) has shown that you can never have too many starting pitchers. In my mind, Joba starting in Scranton is worth more to the 2011 Yanks than Joba in the bullpen, unless he’s capable of being so good in the bullpen that he is in all likelihood more valuable than AJ in the rotation anyway.

      It’s still hard for me to think of any way in which he serves the team better out of the bullpen.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      It looks like they have given up on him. The battle in ST wasn’t really a battle, he was moved out of the 8th inning, and now he’s a middle reliever.

  • http://riveravenueblues.com marty l

    Trade him while he still has value; his upside is decreasing each year. Has been “iffy” since the midges in Cleveland in 2007 ALDS. Very spotty since then, forget his numbers, he wasn’t consistent in big spots this year or last.

    As for Cabrera/Joba comparison, Melky contributed more lasy year than Joba.

    As for Lee, should the Rangers advance and beat the Yankees, blame Cashman for trying to get Lee from the Mariners “on the cheap” and having him “snatched” away by Texas for a first baseman who did not impress in Seattle. Cashman better sign Lee this winter.e

    • pete

      Joba >>>>>>>>> Melky Cabrera, no matter how you look at it. And I would say that his upside was lowest last year at this time, when he was coming off two months of horseshit pitching and had barely grazed 94mph a couple times all year.

      Right now he’s coming off of two months where his stuff, control, and results have been the best they’ve been since ’08.

      Really, last year was the only year his upside decreased, and even that was from “potential ace who appears close to that level” to “solid MLB starter with an outside shot at more”. In ’08, I’d argue that his upside absolutely went up. He went from being a guy who had dominated in small samples as a starter at A+ and AA and then in the bullpen at the major league level to being a guy who had dominated as a starter at the ML level. Although you could argue that his upside went down after the injury, so it depends on what timeframe you’re using as a reference.

      • http://riveravenueblues.com marty l

        If his upside increased, why did robertson and wood pass him as bullpen alternatives? don’t look at his radar gun, check how he did in big spots. usually pitched much better when yankees were losing, not so good in a tie game or with a lead. can’t be relied on for even one shutdown inning.

    • jim p

      If he has command of his fastball, his upside is very high from here. Even at his worst, compare his results at his age, historically, with others who became top pitchers, he actually did pretty well as a starter. His down ending to ’09 surely reflected pitching more than he ever had before in a season.

      And he couldn’t consistently locate his fastball. Just like Hughes the starter couldn’t in the first part of ’09. Now, I think, he can.

  • Jerome S.

    Why is it that every Joba thread instantly starts trade conversations?

    Joba is married to this team. Not yet, I mean, but watch:

    Joba + Cano + Hughes + Jesus = Core Four of the future. You heard it here first!

    /Bold statement’d

    • http://www.yfsf.org AndrewYF

      Brett Gardner, he of the 5.4 fWAR (4.0 bWAR), sheds a single tear.

    • hornblower

      The writers are looking for a story. We are not under any obligation to do the same.
      Joba may or may not have a future with the Yanks. It’s a story for another time.

  • http://riveravenueblues.com marty l

    jesus alou is coming back?

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Can you please remove RAB from the URL field when you comment? You’re not associated with this website and shouldn’t be representing yourself as such.

  • OldYanksFan

    The Yankees will always need quality pitching. We are now paying $24m/yr for AJ and Javy. Would it really shock you if Joba put up better numbers as a strater next year… for under $1m? Would you be shocked if Joba yurned into a solid #4… which is worth $6-$8m these days?

    The problem with Joba is that he was SO GOOD in ’07, that he is a ‘huge disappointment’ in comparison to many fans.

    Player A) (25) 4.18 8.4 1.48
    Player B) (24) 4.68 7.3 1.34

    Which guy would you rather have?

  • OldYanksFan

    Player A) is Joba
    Player B) is Phil

    You LOVE Phil but are happy to trade Joba?

  • Mattchu12

    We are so quick to give up on guys this year. Brett Gardner struggled a bit, and people were calling for him to be traded or cut. Phil Hughes struggled a bit, and people were calling for him to be traded or cut. Cano had that down year and all we heard for weeks were how we should trade him for Kemp.

    Players don’t become great over night. Joba hasn’t been as good as he was in 2007, but how could he be? I don’t think it’s really possible for that to happen. There’s only one Mariano Rivera, guys. Were we all crazy enough to think we could possible replace Mo with Joba?

    The reality is that Joba has had his struggles, but has still been pretty good for a middle reliever. Take out his bad May and July, and Joba posted a 3.06 ERA over almost fifty innings of work. That’s pretty damn good for a reliever. Let’s all take a breath and give Joba a break.

  • Simon

    You’re over by 15 words. Sorry I had to, I’m very bored.

    • Doug

      actually 17, but who’s counting

      • Simon


  • http://twitter.com/marcos_aguirre Marcos

    I’m not sold on the idea of trading Joba, or at least not for now. His value right now is as a reliever, no team will claim to want Joba as a starter, so the return for him would likely be low. I’m a firm believer in him, and I would love nothing more of having a rotation of CC/Pettitte or Lee/Hughes/AJ/Joba, and I believe he would find some success as a starter, but even if he doesn’t, a year of being a league average starter would raise his value significantly.

  • http://punchingtechniques.com Jolene Morrish

    The Eagle offensive line is like a sieve. Kolb is lucky he doesn’t get a concussion on every play.

    • TopChuckie

      Are you saying the Eagles should trade for Joba and put him on the O-line?

  • kosmo

    As the article stated above Joba pitched to a 2.15 ERA over his last 30 appearances.That´s excellent.
    What position do the Yanks so desparately need to fill to justify trading Joba?

    Greinke had 5 seasons under his belt before his 2009 season.None of them memorable.