Joba Update: Joba Joba Joba

The RAB Radio Show: January 18, 2010
Open Thread: Taking care of business

The trickle down effect of this Rafael Soriano signing is that now everyone’s talking about Joba Chamberlain and what his role should be going forward. We’re blogging like it’s 2008. Anyway, on Friday we found out that the Yankees are willing to trade Joba but only as part of a package for a “viable starter,” which I assume means someone better than Joe Blanton or Armando Galarraga. Of course most of us are wondering why they won’t just try him as a starter if they’re willing to trade him (as part of a package!) for one. Does not compute.

If the Yankees did want to give Joba another go in the rotation, they could send him down to Triple-A so that he could properly stretch out. He would need to pass through optional waivers to do that because of his service time situation (explained them here), but Keith Law spoke to a front office person who confirmed that players are never plucked off those kinds of waivers. They’re completely revocable, so even if some team did place a claim in on Joba, the Yankees could pull him right back. The point is that if they want to turn him back into a starter, they have several ways to go about it. Now it’s just a matter of deciding to actually do it.

The RAB Radio Show: January 18, 2010
Open Thread: Taking care of business
  • J_Yankees

    Free Joba.

    •!/TylerWilkinson T-Dubs

      Joba Joba Joba Joba Joba

    • Squishy Jello Person

      Free Joba

      • JGS

        Free Joba

        • mbonzo

          Free Joba

          • Angelo

            Free Joba

            • Daniel

              Free Joba

              • Joltin’ Joe

                No Joba! No Peace!

                • Esteban

                  What do we want? Joba! When do we want him? Now!

                  • Riddering

                    Give me a stahting pitcha or give me death!

                • Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

                  Way to break up the chain.

                  • Again

                    Free Joba!

                    • Joseph Cecala

                      Free Joba!

                    • Lucas Apostoleris

                      Free Joba!

                    • Evan3457

                      Gee Froba!

              • first name only male (formerly Mike R. – Retire 21

                I smell a T-shirt!

                • The Big City of Dreams

                  Lol they wouldn’t be as popular as Joba Rules that had a nice ring to it.

                  • Hikker


    • bexarama

      After today it’s more like $1.4M Joba

      /terrible joke

      • Riddering

        I laugh.

        In pity, but I still laughed. ;)

        • bexarama

          That’s what I can count on you for, baby.

      • Joseph Cecala


      • long time listener

        you beat me to it

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      Anyone else see what has been done here? But I agree. Free him.

    • bpdelia

      free Justin

  • Hughesus Christo

    Can we start a “Draft Joba ’11” Facebook Group or something? Get some grassroots support? Maybe funnel some mysterious funds into a series of “organic demonstrations” across the tri-state area?

  • RL

    Joba as a starter is such an obvious solution. There must be something wrong. And if there is, wouldn’t other teams pick up on it as well, making him even less valuable?

    • long time listener

      Sometimes I wonder about this too. Giving Joba another shot in the rotation makes complete sense, and Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi aren’t complete idiots. Is it possible there’s something we don’t know? You’d think if there was some huge problem – either a physical issue or even a mental issue – at some point there would be a leak. So maybe Cashman and Girardi aren’t as smart as I give them credit for?

      • Monteroisdinero

        They didn’t leak the AJ black eye cause or the Eiland personal problems so….

  • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    Oh boy, you’re in trouble.

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ


    • mustang

      LMAO…. I think this was plan.

      Just kidding enjoy guys.

  • Granderslam

    Do it! And just think, he gets reliever salary!

  • Avi

    How long would it take to convert him back to a starter?

    • Steve H

      He’d be a starter on Opening Day.

      • Avi

        I thought so too. What’s Mike referring to with sending him down to the minors to stretch him out?

      • nick blasioli

        joba started before,,it did not work and it wont work now…make a trade

        • Double-J

          it did not work and it wont work now

          Get your sooths said! Sooths! Get your sooths!

        • The Big City of Dreams

          It didn’t work????? Based on what exactly?????/

          • Dave

            Really? Are you an apologist or just blind? Joba’s velocity is crap as a starter. His location is crap when stretched more than 4-5 outs. People are hung up on delusions of grandeur created by 2007. People want to cling to something that is NOT there. Its NOT! Shut up & stop deluding yourselves. I don’t care if you remember one particular star in 2009 when he pitched 6 scoreless innings. That doesn’t mean anything. Mitre can do that as often as Joba can. There is not a SHRED of consistency with Joba.

            • The Big City of Dreams

              SMH So the starts he made in 2008 doesn’t count. Was his velocity crap as a starter then. The kid was 23 yrs old in his first full season as a starter in 2009 that’s not being blind or an apologist those are the facts. With Chamberlain opinions become facts “He never threw hard as a starter, he never pitched 6 innings, he never had a good start, he never pitched well, etc.” The only delusions of granduer from 2007 was the crazy belief that he was the second coming of Gossage. Did fans really believe his ERA was going to be that low forever. Did fans honestly believe he would take over for Mo while Rivera is still on the team.

              Good luck with Mitre we’ll see how long that love fest lasts.

  • Chops

    If “Joba to the rotation” is absolutely out of the question for the Yankees front office, what is the next best thing?

    Packaging him in a deal with lesser prospects for someone like Wandy?

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      I get the feeling that him being in the 6th or 7th inning is too valuable to be let go. Cash said something similar last year.

      Of course we have Soriano now but I don’t have faith that they’ll trade him.

  • J.R.

    Mike, couldn’t you see the Red Sox putting in a claim just to hamper the Yankees efforts? I remember Cashman pulling a similar move on a trade the Sox did with the Mets.

    • Chris A

      I have the same question. I understand it never happens, but why wouldn’t the Red Sox put a claim in on Joba? Having Joba as a starter obviously makes the Yankees a better team, so if the Red Sox could prevent that at no cost, why wouldn’t they?

    • Sick Nwisher

      If I were the Red Sox I would, that was a dick move by the Yankees.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        It ruined poor Chris Carter’s career…..that and the fact that Chris Carter sucks. All he does is catch touchdowns.

      • bpdelia

        They wouldn’t do that, because this is not a trade claim it’s a totally different issue.

        And teams do this all the time. IT would bring the system crashing down if the Red Sox did it. They would start a tit for tat claim issue.

        I don’t see it happening.

        But honestly he doesnt have to start in AAA.

        SPring training is for getting stretched out. There is no serious difference in off season preparation. He can come in and be a starter on day one and be ready for start of season.

  • The Three Amigos

    Hell, screw waivers, just do the old fake an injury and call it a day. He will get a month of “rehab” down there and be good to go in May.

  • Mike M

    The whole Joba to the rotation thing at this point seems a little overdone. I REALLY doubt the Yankee FO is so dense that they would keep him in the bullpen if they felt he could be a viable starter. It’s easy for a bunch of fans and keyboard warriors to say its an easy decision, but when you have ALL the information they have I’m sure there is a better reason to trade him/keep him in the pen than HE THROWS HARDER THERE!!!11!! We can toss out advanced statistics, pitch fx data, etc til we’re blue in the face, but I’m just gonna trust that the people who have pictures of the inside of his arm and whose jobs depend on the teams success know a biiiit more than we do.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      In other words, blind faith.

      (I know what you mean, just messing with you.)

      • Mike M

        Haha perhaps it is a bit of blind faith. Still, I’ll take blind faith in a team that’s always put itself in a position to win in the last 15 or so years over a bunch of people who have fangraphs in their favorites (not hating on people for this, I have it bookmarked too).

    • long time listener

      Because those guys never make a mistake?

      • Mike M

        Who said they never make mistakes? No one is perfect. But it’s silly to think that people on the internet can make a better informed decision than the team. If you really think you’re better equipped to run a team than Cashman than you live in a fantasy world I only wish I could subscribe to.

        • long time listener

          I don’t think I’m better equipped because there’s so much more involved in the job than just this one decision. But I see a team that’s desperate for another starter, and they have a guy who’s had some success as a starter. But for some reason, they aren’t even considering using that guy, and they don’t seem to have any reason other than “his stuff plays better out of the bullpen.” You don’t have to be executive of the year to see that doesn’t make sense.

          • The Big City of Dreams

            Cashman is also the same guy that said Joba can’t be a reliever because it takes too long for him to warm up lol

        • Mike HC

          You don’t have to be a super genius to be the GM of a baseball team. Actually, I would say a decent amount of the commenters here would be qualified to run a team if actually given a fair chance and a bit of training beforehand. It is fantasy world to think that just because someone is in a position, they are the only ones, or one of very few who could be a success there.

          • Mike M

            You really think this? How many people here would be able to hold up in a negotiation with Scott Boras, manage a multimillion dollar budget, a farm system, handle the publicity, etc. You don’t have to be a super genius in terms of straight up IQ, but you have to have more business sense and soft skills than most people will ever have. There’s a big difference between being a fantasy GM, and a real one. That part of the argument is neither here nor there though, the original point of my post is that all it takes is ONE piece of information that we don’t have to make everyone’s arguments moot. People need to put their wishes in perspective and realize that maybe the Yankees aren’t run by people who have it out for Joba

            • Mike HC

              I think not being skeptical and giving people blind faith just because they are in a certain position is more dangerous than second guessing because you may not have all the information they have. People in power can constantly hide behind that, while never giving the secret information, if there even is any. Just my view of things. I definitely understand your stance as well though.

              • Mike HC

                And I do honestly believe that there are many, many people that have the ability to be a major league GM given the opportunity. Of course, a bit of an apprenticeship and training never hurts either.

                • Mike M

                  Fair enough…sorry if I came across as combative. All the Soriano/Joba negativity along with the dreariness of winter makes me yearn even more for spring training when we start to see this team perform.

                  • Mike HC

                    Definitely did not come off as combative. Your comments seem very reasonable to me and you could be far more right than I am. As of now, this is my story and I’m sticking to it, ha.

    • bpdelia

      My issue with that line of thinking is this.

      A) if there is something visible in his MRI then he CANNOT be traded. No one is going to trade for someone with a shoulder that is on the edge of tearing.

      B) BEing in the bullpen doesn’t prevent injury. IF his shoulder is an issue it’s an issue in the pen or the rotation. There is no data that proves the bullpen is less stressful on the arm. In fact there are as many people who say that repeated warming up, not being on a routine, and pitching multiple days in a row is MORE stressful on the arm.

      C) as a case in point look at Papplebon who had shoulder issues. As a result of those issues the Sox decided it was safer and less stressful on the arm ot HAVE HIM START.

      So there is nothing I’ve ever seen that lends any credence to this mystery injury. Like i said, if his arm has issues NO ONE will take him so whats the point?

      I really think this is an issue of ego and fatigue now. They are tired of the questions and they have decided that Joba failed as a starter.

      SOrry, I generally don’t try and criticize the FO but on this, unless there is compelling evidence otherwise, I’m sticking by this being either a big mistake, or a case of big egos not wanting to admit they messed up.

      • Mike M

        I’ll be sure to tell Kerry Wood about point B for you. Every arm is different. Every player’s makeup is different. Unless you’re Dr. James Andrews your guess is as good as mine

        • bpdelia

          But what I’m saying is that there was never any proof that WOod being in the bullpen helped him either. Guys get hurt starting. Guys get hurt relieving. No one knows whats going to happen.

          Listen we can put this argument to bed right now because it’s not true. IF Joba’s shoudler was this ticking time bomb why was he in a competition for the 5th job last year? WHy was he allowed to start in ST?

          There hasn’t been any change in his arm since then has there? There haven’t been any MRI’s since then right?

          They let him start after he HURT his shoulder and KEPT letting him start.

          SOrry it’s a bogus argument. IT can’t be true period.

          IF it was he would not have started in 2009 after he’d already had teh injury.

          And he CERTAINLY wouldn’t have been allowed to try and start in 2010.

          No there can be no validity to this argument.

          • Mike M

            I’m not arguing that he’s got this massive injury their hiding. All I’ve been saying is that if they have ANY information that would lead them to believe he will have a better long term effect on the team by being in the bullpen, all these arguments are moot. The same way people are assuming that they know the market on Soriano, people are assuming they know about Joba. It’s just a little silly to me.

  • Scott

    BTW – saw Cashman speak at the Middlesex (CT) Chamber of Commerce meeting this morning (January 18th). He drove from Darien to Cromwell, CT in an ice storm leaving his house at 5:30 am to get there about 8:00. He could have easily canceled. Showed me a lot of character.

    Anyway – he stated Joba will be a reliever and that there isn’t any chance he will start (not sure if I believe that). He also joked with red sox fans that currently the red sox have a higher payroll then the yankees. He stated, “so you red sox fans can’t use payroll as an excuse anymore.”

    Cashman was very entertaining and very down to earth…

    •!/TylerWilkinson T-Dubs

      Sorry I missed it. MLK day threw me off and I thought it was tomorrow. Glad I didn’t brave the ice though.

    • kenthadley

      what did he say about never giving a first round draft choice up for a relief pitcher?

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ

        Thing is it may have had to do with being a smokescreen so that they can ninja in again.

        This Joba thing has been stressed since like the 2009 playoffs so I doubt it’s a lie now. Cash could very easily surprise me so who knows.

        • fire levine

          3/35 isn’t ninja

    • danmizer


      That was beautiful. Said perfectly.

      I’m already tired of this politicianing for joba starting.

      Before it was keep him in the pen and don’t switch him back to starting because the yanks are ruining him….

      I’m suprised the people at RAB are spinning this bullshit.

      Let the pros do their job and get back to worrying about our other sps.

      • dr mrs the yankee

        RAB has pretty much always been in favor of him starting…

    • Mike HC

      Here is to hoping that someone goes over his head again and gives Joba a shot to start. Shit, if I was Joba, I would be ticked to be relegated to the pen. He has been a starter his entire life. You just saw Hughes get paid a million more than him and I’m sure the major reason there was the reliever, starter difference.

  • Ted Nelson

    Good article.

    I am pretty much on the start Joba side of things, though not to the point of bashing the front office since I don’t know their rationale. Glad this article does not do that. If it comes down to it I hope that “viable” means a lot to the FO, because this is a good young pitcher. I’d rather see him in relief than traded for some mediocre old starter. Guess it’s a fine line.

  • Frank1979

    Wait a second, I’m confused. Joba is only 1 year removed from making 30+ starts and throwing 150+ innings. Why would he need to be sent down to Triple A to be stretched out? Wouldn’t spring training basically serve that purpose? I mean its not like he’s Sergio Mitre who is 3 years removed from making 27 starts and throwing only 149 innings. In fact, 2007 was the only year Mitre was ever a full time starting pitcher.

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      If he needs more time in getting in starter shape it’s better to do it in AAA where game results don’t matter.

      • Frank1979

        Right I understand that. I guess I was just thinking along the lines that if by some miracle the Yankees actually gave him a shot at getting back into the rotation they would use spring training as the measuring stick and if he wasn’t ready by the time the season started they would abandon the idea and use it as an excuse to stick him back in the bullpen instead of sending him down to Triple A to keep working as a starter.

        • The Real JobaWockeeZ

          Looking at the amount of low stress work they put in in ST it seems it’s not nearly enough.

          During the ‘competition’ last year Joba got 10 innings of work in.

          • Frank1979

            Yeah you’re right about the stress factor. On the other hand Hughes got in 20+ innings last year in ST and never had to go down to Triple A when the season started. So I guess I don’t know what the correct course of action should be.

            Also nice touch by putting competition in quotation marks since we all know now that they were probably set on Hughes from the beginning no matter what.

            • Mike HC

              To be fair, Hughes was legitimately better than Joba at that point. Clearly the Yanks thought Hughes was the guy from the get go this past Spring, but there was obviously good reason for that.

  • CS Yankee

    Camp A, or camp B?

    Camp A thought that Joba was the next Verlander, would continue to grow but have a few bumps along the way (such as a 4.75+ ERA posted as a young starter).

    Camp B thought that Joba was the next Mo, would have that same aura & results as he did when he broke into the bigs (but his high-3 ERA wasn’t anything to brag about in ’10).

    So, regardless of which camp you belonged to (& some were in both) the facts look to be;
    Camp B) He is a MRP that will pitch in the 6th or maybe 7th (if Drob fails or others are hurt).
    Camp A) He is trade bait or perhaps the 5th or 6th starter if conditioned to do so.

    So, doesn’t camp B even have to wish for A to happen as the best trade value would be as a starter and we actually need a starter (or two)?

    • Daniel

      Jobas trade value will be higher if he can be semi successful(which we have seen)as a starter. Though that camp may say, that if he does succeed, trade him when the killer B’s can take his place.

      • Mike HC

        Joba is not going to be under team control for much longer. Guys that will become free agents in the near future quickly lose the amount of teams that would be interested in him. Mid to smaller market teams usually are not interested in guys would are about to become free agents who have not even proved they can start consistently. So that limits the trade suitors to other larger market teams. I doubt the Yanks want to trade him to their AL competitors either, so that further limits his trade value to other larger market NL teams.

        I guess my point is that it is easier said than done to find a compatible trade partner at this point Joba. His greatest value to the Yanks lies in him starting for us, in my opinion, and many others opinion.

        • Mike HC

          I guess this is not necessarily in direct reply to your comment, Daniel. Just ended up replying with it here.

  • nathan

    What is to stop Boston to put in a claim on Joba. Will force Yanks hands. It is a roster spot that is being wasted and Boston and Tampa will like it that way.

    Why would they allow Yanks to swap Joba for a spare part for 6th inning between the Yankee AAA and MLB teams

    If i am another team, i put the claim every time.

    • Mike HC

      Yea, same. No way would I just let Joba slide because the Yanks would pull him back. Definitely would force the Yanks the hand.

  • mike c

    how is this an update? it should be titled “joba update joba: joba joba joba”

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      Re-read the second paragraph.

      • mike c

        how is that an update on joba? nothing’s changed

        • Mike HC

          It is more of a clarification. I believe, at least I did, that Joba being sent to the minors was now either impossible, or very unlikely. This post clarified that the Yanks can indeed attempt to send Joba back to the minors without the risk of losing him to another team if he is claimed. Maybe you already knew this, but I didn’t know this, and I’m sure others did not as well.

  • MikeD

    There would be no reason to send Joba down to AAA if they want him to start. He would be on the path from the start of Spring Training and would be ready in plenty of time for the season. I can only see them stretching him out if they decided to make the move late in ST or once the season was already in progress.

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      He pitched 10.1 innings in ST last year. That’s not nearly enough if he needs to get stretched out.

      • bpdelia

        no it is. HE doesn’t have to be stretched out. It’s a new year, he comes in like any other starter and works out like anyone else. HE would only have to be stretched out if it was mid season.

        You can convert guys in ST like normal.

        Adam Wainright didn’t go to AAA to be stretched out. HE came to ST and worked out like a SP and was ready to go.

  • T-Dubs

    I love Joba.


  • bpdelia

    I just think a better explanation is needed is all. don’t give me “his stuff is better in the pen.” That’s a freaking cop out. I expect them to give me a reason that a 6th inning reliever is more important than having a starter to replace Mitre,=. The yankees are treating this like a zero sum game.

    As if if he faisl as a SP in spring he’s RUINED.

    Give him a shot, if he fails he can pitch from the pen. What’s the problem.

    I simply don’t understand the level of assuredness here. WHy wouldn’t you at least try.

    SOrry there is no possible excuse. Even the medical excuse isn’t an excuse.

  • bpdelia

    ugh the other think that really bothers me is WHY announce he’s a reliever going forward. WHy not say “Joba’s a reliever right now because that’s where we need him and where he has the most value to this team right now, but he can be a starter again.”

    WOuldn’t that be better for his trade value as opposed to basically telling the world “we have ZERO faith in this freakin guy and we’re gonna stash him as our 4th RHRP option.”

    Just doesn’t make any sense to be so adamant about this. There is no upside to not considering him as a SP or AT least APPEAR to be considering him.

    • Mike HC

      To me, it seems like the Yanks decided that Joba was going to be a reliever for the rest of his tenure with the team last off season. They didn’t want to keep going back and forth, and they felt it was better to just make a final decision for the sake of finality. So they did. They also probably felt they could at least get a starting five of guys just as good as Joba year after year, which they thought they had in 2009, so it was not going to be a huge loss of value to the team.

      I don’t think they foresaw basically a worst case scenario (maybe not worst case, but pretty bad) of Pettitte retiring, both Javy and AJ becoming flat out terrible and losing out on Cliff Lee. Now they are stuck and refuse to change their “final decision” on Joba. It bothers me, and is bothering many other people too.

      • bpdelia

        yeah. That’s pretty much exactly what I think happened.

        I honestly believe that they didn’t think they’d need him so they announced he’d be in teh bullpen.

        Now we are in a “worst” case scenario with Javy gone, AJ a massive question mark, No lee, no pettite and no other viable option currently available.

        This just strikes me as now being more about not wanting to admit that they have to change their minds.

        IT seems almost as if they think announcing Joba will get a shot would be admitting that they had made a mistake, or that it would be defined as a desperation move, or that it would entail more bad press or debate.

        I think this decision is being made based on everything BUT baseball on the field.

        People make mistakes. I’m always a Cashman defender but in this one instance I’m entitled to believe he is being extremely stubborn and that hte organization is making a significant mistake.

        I don’t think Joba projects as anything other than a #4 at this point with an upside of a #3 at best. But at this moment in time that woudl be extremely valuable.

        IF he was going to be the teams primary RHRP (non Rivera Division) it’s one thing. But as the pen is currently constructed there simply isn’t a reason to at least let him TRY to outperform Sergio MItre and Ivan Nova.

        • Mike HC

          Agreed. We rushed Joba up through the minors to be a part of the pen because the Yanks are always in “win now” mode. Now we are not putting him back into the rotation because my assumption is they are having “patience,” see Joba as a long term part of the pen and don’t want to make a rash “win now” decision.

          All I see is the Yanks making any excuse to keep this guy in the bullpen. And people like you and me just can’t fucking understand why.

          *In my post above, I meant the Yanks thought the 2010 rotation were at least all as good as Joba, not 2009 rotation.

  • Jacque

    I think it has to be that there is a shoulder issue w/ Joba and the Yanks think that issue is better contained in the bullpen than in the rotation. As many have pointed out, no other explanation makes sense. He certainly did not fail as a starter – 2.76 ERA in 12 or so starts in 2008, and in 2009 he had the best ERA on the team through mid-June (in what would have been only his third season in the minors). He had his “big” shoulder injury in August 08, and then pitched the entire 09 season as a starter, which is odd if the issue is his shoulder, as I’m suggesting it is. I can only speculate that the Yanks determined that his poor second-half of ’09 was because his shoulder could not handle the rotation, and sending him out for another season in the rotation would yield the same result, or, even worse, a blown out shoulder. This really seems to be the only explanation that makes sense. The only other possibility I see is that the Yanks are lying and Joba is actually going to be tried in the rotation. The Yanks have “lied” in that fashion plenty of times in the Joe G./Cashman era, and maybe they think this will take pressure off of Joba to be the rotation’s savior.

  • Accent Shallow

    Joba Joba Joba Joba Joba Joba Joba.

    It’s like that scene where Malkovich goes through the tunnel into his own head.

  • David

    He most likely will be traded. He can be easily be replaced internally. They would like that to be by Brackman, who should be able to fill that role. Hopefully, he will go in a package for a quality starter, exactly as Law says. You would think that the Cardinals would be an ideal match, such as for Carpenter. This would also be better for Joba, as nobody is more in need of a “fresh start”. Everybody wins.

  • twac00

    Whatever happened to stretching him out in ST like every other starter?