King: Rangers scouting Joba Chamberlain

2013 Season Preview: The Right Fielders
Spring Training Game Thread: Derek & Andy

Via George King: The Rangers have been scouting Joba Chamberlain, specifically Monday’s outing against the Cardinals. Don Welke, a senior special assistant to GM Jon Daniels, was in attendance for that one. Joba allowed a single and was clocked at 92-95 mph (according to King) in an otherwise uneventful inning against St. Louis, and so far this spring he’s allowed two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out three in five innings.

Chamberlain, 27, will be a free agent after the season, and non-elite middle reliever/setup men usually don’t fetch much in trades when they’re a year away from free agency. The Yankees have some right-handed relief depth thanks to Shawn Kelley and Cody Eppley, both of whom are currently projected to start the year in Triple-A, but the Rangers are really thin in the bullpen until Joakim Soria returns from Tommy John surgery. Perhaps Joba could be part of a package for Mike Olt — who would be perfect for the Yankees even though he’s gotten more than a little overrated lately — with the Yankees kicking in a good prospect or two. Probably a pipe dream, but who knows.

For what it’s worth, Buster Olney says the Rangers are open to trading outfielder Craig Gentry. The 29-year-old has hit .279/.344/.355 (88 wRC+) with two homers and 32 steals in 476 career plate appearances, including a .294/.364/.392 (104 wRC+) line against righties. Gentry is basically a right-handed Brett Gardner, offering speed, little power, injury concerns, and ab0ve-average defense. He’s not in Gardner’s class with the glove, however. Gentry is under control through 2017 and is a much more reasonable target than Olt.

2013 Season Preview: The Right Fielders
Spring Training Game Thread: Derek & Andy
  • jsbrendog

    maybe texas looks to start him…..

    yeah i went there

    • Laz

      I thought about that too. They have done it recently with several players too.

      • art vandelay

        CJ Wilson says hi

        • Steve (different one)

          So does Neftali Feliz….

          • MannyGeee

            This would hurt my heart.

    • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

      Completely obvious and bizarre that it wasn’t even mentioned in the post. The starting ship may have passed for the Yankees but given Joba’s comments (last week!), the Rangers recent history with stuff like this, and a weird similarity I hadn’t thought of before between the bull headed Nolan Ryan and bull minded Joba and…yeah I think this is exactly what the Rangers would at least try.

  • trr

    Perfectly OK to trade him, just get commensurate value in return

  • http:/ Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

    for gentry, no.

    • Barry

      Basically this.

  • Laz

    If they can use him to snag Olt, I’m game. Joba will be great in late innings, but if they can snag a prospect of Olt’s potential who has 6 years of control it would be great move.

    • Gonzo

      That would be great. I wonder what else would be added for Olt though. I am with Mike though. Olt seems to have gotten really overrated recently.

  • dfghj

    I just would like to make a comment that bullpen help is always needed during the deadline and you can often get an arm and a leg for a quality reliever, even non-closer/set up type.

    • MannyGeee

      Except for when you are in the hunt as well and you will likely not want to give up a core reliever whilst fighting for October. I am of the mind that being a seller in July means you’re giving up, and I do not expect the Yankees to be out of it in July.

      If you are going to trade Joba, do it now and go on with life.

  • Old Man Alex

    Im going to be really hurt if a) Joba starts for Texas and b) he becomes a top of the line starter. Perhaps Mike Maddux could do wonders for Joba.

    • qwerty

      They’ll have to correct his mechanics first. The reason why Joba isn’t throwing as good as he used to may very well have something to do with this. It’s even likely the reason that lead to his tommy john surgery as Joba didn’t start throwing an inverted W until Eiland worked his magic on him. Let’s hope Joba can become a front line starter for some other team.

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    Even if Olt is overrated, with the Yankees having next to nothing in the system at 3rd base, if they can get him for a decent package, it could be a very good move.

  • herby

    Doing it for Gentry isn’t really worthwhile, I think there is enough of that type on the team already. Unless they’re just sick of Joba, and want to try to flip what they get elsewhere, or make Joba part of a package. For one year of service, coming off an injury I don’t expect you’d get much in return though.

  • Cool Lester Smooth

    I say we trade him for Profar.

    …maybe package him with Melky and IPK

  • Tom

    I’m all for adding Olt, just as long as the package is not out of control.

    I think there’s a chance that at the plate he is Smoak 2.0; like Olt, Smoak also had good #’s for the Rangers in AA and struck out less than Olt does. Olt obviously has more value as he is good defensively at 3rd base, but I think perception has gotten out of control as his name keeps getting tossed about in trade rumors (the “John Danks” effect).

    The Yankees bullpen is also not that deep, take away Joba and you have Mo, Robertson, and a bunch of question marks (Aardsma, Kelly) and specialists (take your pick of LOOGY’s and Eppley). If Joba (+ something) gets you a guy like Olt…. great. Gentry… hell no.

    • Chip

      Agreed. I don’t think the bullpen is as bad as you think though. You figure that if Phelps stays, you probably end up with Mo, D-rob, Logan, Eppley, Aardsma, Kelley, Phelps which isn’t a bad bullpen at all. Then you consider that Montgomery/Goody/Whitley aren’t all that far away and could definitely be mainstays by next year

      • Tom

        I was looking more at this year since Joba would be a FA anyway. The bullpen you put up there isn’t bad at all, until you factor in he inevitable injury. Given an expected dip in offense I think the Yankees will have a lot more med/high leverage bullpen innings and if you take Joba out of the mix, you are putting a lot of faith in Kelly or Aardmsa (or Logan being more than a LOOGY)

        Cashman has a good track record filling in bullpen pieces, but I don’t think the Yankees depth is as good as folks think; more middle of the road. I think next year they will need to add a couple of good arms via FA or trade (If Montgomery breaks out in the 2nd half of this year, maybe one).

  • Chip

    Joba + Phelps for Olt and I’m a happy guy. Figure something like .240/.330/.450 over the full season with above average defense. That’s a pretty solid pickup if you ask me. The only thing is, does that make A-Rod a DH the rest of his career? It’s not like he isn’t a good defender anymore and first base isn’t exactly an option

    • Mickey Greene

      Chamberlin and Phelps for Olt? You must be delusional.

      Phelps has shown the pitching promise that Hughes was supposed to for all these years, he attacks the strike zone like a veteran, while keeping hitters off balance.

      He’s a lot like a young Mike Mussina, the Yankee’s need players like this if they ever hope to replicate the mid nineties

      Considering Pettite and Kuroda are all but gone next year to retirement and Japan respectively, who do you expect to fill in once every five games? The free agent market has lost their mind in the overvaluation of starting pitchers.

      My three cents (inflation)

      • http:/ Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

        I think you are overrating Phelps a little bit. The Yankee have Banuelos and Pineda to lean on for next year. Losing Phelps wouldn’t be the end of the word IMO.

        • Mickey Greene

          While I agree they are in the pipeline with high expectations, both are also coming off major arm surgeries and Banuelos has yet to throw an inning in the majors

          I’m not suggesting that Phelps is our next ace, far from it I’m simply pointing out he’s excelled in every opportunity the Yankee’s have given him and that his versatility is valuable

          • Chip

            I totally agree he’s valuable but he’s basically a 3-5th starter depending on how real you think last year was. I do agree that pitching could be a huge issue next year because the rotation right now would be CC/Nova/Phelps/Pineda/…Warren or Marshall?

          • http:/ Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

            Well when you are calling him a young Mike Mussina then yeah you are calling him “the next ace”

            Dynasties don’t happen, like ever. Replicating the mid 90’s probably won’t happen again in our lifetimes, even if the whole rotation was made up of David Phelp type pitchers.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        I agree he’s delusional.

        Phelps and Joba wouldn’t be anywhere near enough for Olt.

        • Chip

          So one guy says that giving up Phelps is too much and another guy says it wouldn’t be anywhere close. Welcome to trade proposals sucking :)

        • Now Batting

          Yeah I read the first line thinking no way that is enough for Olt. Couldn’t believe he went the other way with it.

          • Rick

            I’m with you, I did not see that going the other way either. Cashman would do cartwheels if Daniels called him up and offered Olt for Joba/Phelps. Wouldn’t be able to say yes fast enough.

      • Block

        Right on Mickey. I’ve been a Yankee fanatic since “61”.Can’t understand how Phelps isn’t considered a future frontline starter. Looks like one to me.Also would not give Joba away for a fringe player like Gentry. Thank-You.

    • http:/ Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

      I know that it makes sense now, but what happens if/when Alex comes back? You traded a good set up guy for a bench player, because Girardi usually sticks with the Veterans. Youkilis would become very disgruntled as a bench player. No need for the clubhouse distraction. The Yankees made their choices this offseason, they just have to tread water at this point. Making the trade for Olt would be a great future move, but I don’t think it will benefit the team as much in 2013.

      If they trade for Olt it will scream that the Yankees are not confident that Alex will be back at all this year and that would surprise me.

      • Chip

        I don’t know about that. I’m not sure what Youkilis thinks really has any relevance since he’s on a one year deal and is pretty injury prone himself. I’m more concerned in the future of making A-Rod an every day DH. He’s actually still probably average to above average in the field so putting him there reduces his already diminishing value by quite a bit. I guess you could let Cano walk next year and see if either he or Olt could handle second but I think that would be a stretch. It’s the same thought I have about cashing the farm in for Headley

        • Evan3457

          You use all this year as a 4-corners guy, 1st for Tex, later in the year at 3rd when Youk gets hurt, and in between, he becomes the RH-hitting outfielder for left and right field.

          • Evan3457

            You use Olt this year as a 4-corners guy, is what I meant.

            Later on, A-Rod to DH, and Olt to 3rd, full-time.

  • Dan

    People have been talking about trading for Olt like it makes sense for us to do it to cover the injuries that we have in the first few months (to Tex and ARod). However, would he really be that much of an improvement? Offensively he has struggled at the major league level last year and so far in Spring Training this year. He hasn’t taken a single at bat in AAA, so even if they trade for him it might be best to let him go through AAA and build up to being able to handle ML pitching.

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      He barely played in the majors last year.

  • Clem

    No more ping-pong hitters, please. We need a young thumper in the Yankees lineup.

    • Rick

      Yea, one of dem Babe Ruth types

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        Do you think Jeff Loria is going to be financing a play anytime soon?

  • Yogiism

    Rather keep Joba at this point, but if Daniels and Cashman can get together on some prospects also, then I’m game. A swap of Joba for Gentry isn’t necessary or appealing to me, although he does have some cost incentive. Mike Olt is a name to consider, but then this creates issues in the field. Unless the Yanks are holding out about the severity of Tex’s injury, you’ll have the Youk/Middlebrooks scenario all over again at 3rd and as we’ve seen, that didn’t go over to well. If Tex is down for an extended period of time and Youk takes first and Olt at 3rd, then I’m in. I’d do a Joba, Heathcott (Hamilton lite, anyone?) and another lower down arm for Olt. Yanks are getting much more than that from the Rangers.