Yankees avoid arbitration with Joba Chamberlain

Thursday Night Open Thread
Mailbag: Manny Ramirez & Casper Wells

7:47pm: The deal is worth $1.875M with another $275k available in bonuses based on games finished according to Ken Davidoff. Very reasonable.

7:43pm: The Yankees and Joba Chamberlain have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract, the team announced. No word on the money, but MLBTR projects a $1.8M salary for 2013. The projections were dead-on for Brett Gardner ($2.8M) and way off for Phil Hughes ($7.15M). Joba, 27, will be a free agent next offseason.

David Robertson and Boone Logan are the team’s only remaining unsigned arbitration-eligible players.

Thursday Night Open Thread
Mailbag: Manny Ramirez & Casper Wells
  • RetroRob

    …and Joba will and should look at the $7.1M that Hughes is getting and the $1.875 he’s getting, and hit the road after 2013 to sign on with some team as a starter. This has nothing to do with wheather I think Joba should be a starter or a reliever. It’s what Joba should be thinking. Back-end starters make way more than set-up men, even quality set-up men.

    • Ted Nelson

      It’s definitely possible that he looks for and finds a starting opportunity, but short-term it’s also possible he gets more money to relieve if he has a successful year. I could see a small market team viewing him as a relatively cheap closer if he’s successful in 2013.

      • RetroRob

        If he has a successful year, the Yankees might consider him as a closer option for 2014. That’s probably the main way he would remain with the Yankees. Replace Mariano (assuming retirement) as the closer. Other than that, I just think he’ll view his earning potential much better as a non-Yankee.

        • Ted Nelson

          Yeah, I don’t disagree with that. I was just saying that if he leaves he could still end up in the pen elsewhere.

          I would be interested to see how much money a team will be willing to offer a guy who hasn’t started in several years and has Joba’s specific track record to start, assuming there’s a team out there that wants him to start. And then, if this is the situation, whether Joba would want some guaranteed money over multiple years to relieve or a sort of prove it, small, one year deal to start and maybe earn a lot more long-term.

          • RetroRob

            The logistics would be the hard part. I can certainly see a team signing him to start, yet they won’t pay him as an established starter until he, ummm, establishes himself as a starter.

            To state the obvious, this is an important season for Joba to stay healthy and pitch quality innings.

    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

      I agree that if he gets through 2013 throwing well and injury free the lucrative business decision is for him to seek a job as a starter though in that scenario, I think there’s also a chance the Yankees bring him back to replace Mo at a salary attractive enough to entice him to stay.

  • Yankee in Exile

    It doesn’t matter at this point. Joba will not be a starter, he’s been a reliever for too long. Doesn’t matter which team.

    • RetroRob

      He just completed his age-26 season. Plenty of time in his career. Unless he personally believes he can’t be a starter, he is gone after this year.

      • Reggie C.

        He’s also not bore a heavy workload for a couple seasons now. The man’s arm isn’t taxed by any means. I think an intrepid team (not the Yanks sadly) can and should roll the dice converting Joba back to a starter.

    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

      David Wells became a full time starter around age 29 and both Brandon Morrow and Johann Santana each relieved predominantly for a few years before starting full time so I don’t think that ship has sailed for Joba.

    • Preston

      CJ Wilson says hey!

      • MannyGeee


  • Daren

    Grunt and fart. not a starter.

  • Youkales Misspelled Name

    Cue the lame Joba debate.

  • Greg

    Make him a 2B after Cano leaves. 2B make more than relievers.

    • RetroRob

      Are you kidding? With that build and that arm, make him a catcher!

  • Pistol Pete

    Young pitchers are a real crap shoot. Joba was untouchable his first year and coveted by many teams. His years under control for the Yanks fell victim to injury and he’ll leave next year as an average run of the mill middle reliever, sad but it happens to young pitchers.

  • http://Www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Drew

    God, 2007 seems like it was yesterday. I don’t think there has been a more debated topic amongst Yankee fans than the Joba starter reliever debate. What a shame how it turned out.

  • trr

    a clear case of how not to handle young pitching….hope the team has learned from this.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      I seriously believe they had no idea what they were doing when it came to Joba.

      • Jim Is Bored

        I believe they thought they knew what they were doing. But I don’t think there was a “right way” that anyone knows of. Medical science, in baseball, is still largely a guessing game.

        • The Big City of Dreams

          True but you would think after he was sent to the pen they even questioned the stuff they did. Look how careful they have been with the Bs

    • RetroRob

      What’s to learn? To present the other side always ignored by the fans and the media, Joba didn’t get injured by the Joba Rules. He was most likely injured when he fell on the mound in Texas jamming his shoulder. He went off to the DL and returned the next month. While he returned, his once dominant fastball had lost three mph, and as is common with shoulder injuries, he lost some command. Neither has ever returned to 2007 early 2008 levels. That’s the lesson with any young pitcher. They get injured…lots.

  • Vern Sneaker

    But wasn’t it awesome watching him those couple of months? Damn.

  • CashmanNinja

    I think the Joba rules were the worst thing they could have done. They were dumb beyond belief. I realize they didn’t want to put too heavy of a workload on him, but they literally ruined him (and not just because of injury). They ruined his pitching mentality. I believe it was against the Blue Jays where he had some stupid pitch count, like 75-80, so the Jays literally did not swing. Why? Because his out pitch was his slider so they’d wait and wait and wait and get into fastball counts. Joba would either have to throw a fastball down the middle or try to hit the corner of the plate (and result in a walk). They were patient because everyone and their mother knew Joba only had 80 pitches in him. Then came the other injuries and he was just never the same. That’s not to say he still doesn’t have good stuff, but he isn’t what he once was.

    I think, on the right team, he could be a starter — but it won’t be as a Yankee. His career reminds me of Shaun Marcum, Scott Baker or Rich Harden. Tons of talent, but can’t stay healthy, hence why he’ll most likely wind up staying in the pen. Those 3 guys had the stuff to be 1 or 2’s in the rotation, but look where they are now. I don’t think Joba has the track record as a starter to get a deal as a starter on the open market and that is why I feel he’ll sign as a reliever and *maybe* get a chance to start. He’ll be someone’s swingman — he’ll get a chance to be at the end of the rotation or a middle reliever. He’ll be some teams version of Phil Coke.

    • There’s the Door

      Correct and astute, Ninja.

    • Jim Is Bored

      The can’t stay healthy thing is a bit of a myth with Joba though; the trampoline accident isn’t something you can predict. Outside of that it was really one injury since he’s been in the majors.

  • Robert

    2013 make or break year for Joba. Good Luck Joba.

  • Andrew Brotherton

    In all honesty though Joba didn’t help himself or endear himself to the team when he showed up to his first major spring competition out of shape and then got a dui, also the Joba rules were because of his coach Joe Torre- a known pitcher destroyer. His various injuries as well-he was rather snakebit.

  • MannyGeee

    I love you, Joba Chamberlin, don’t ever leave us…

    /obligatory #nohomo.

    • MannyGeee

      Autocorrect fail:

      Joba Chamberlain… Don’t disrespect.