Right now, Joba Chamberlain represents a very big name that is still without a team for the upcoming 2015 season. While his agents have surely fielded plenty of offers, the asking price still seems to be too high for most teams. If it continues to fall, do the Twins jump in on the list of suitors?
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Last season, Joba Chamberlain was a part of the Detroit Tigers bullpen that was regarded as the reason they wouldn’t advance through the playoffs. That came to fruition as pitchers like Joakim Soria and Joe Nathan continued to implode on the mound. While Chamberlain wasn’t as bad, he also struggled plenty on his own.
2014 saw Chamberlain pitch to the tune of a 3.57 ERA across 69 games for the Tigers. While that was markedly better than his 2012 and 2013 seasons with the Yankees, the numbers still aren’t good for a reliever. Joba is a name, and he’s made himself much more noticed in the baseball landscape than his numbers have done for him.
Chamberlain has posted a sub 3.00 ERA only twice in his career, and he has not done so since 2011. After garnering Rookie of the Year attention back in 2008, Chamberlain has largely failed to impress since. At this point, it seems that the biggest thing holding the 29-year-old hurler back is himself.
With Joba Chamberlain, conditioning and effort has always been the talking point when it comes to production. At a generous 250 pounds, keeping in prime game shape has never been something that Chamberlain has made himself synonymous with. Considering the output he has produced in recent memory, it is going to take a significant turnaround for a team to really look at paying the big name.
For the Twins, Joba could be a fit at the right price, but he enters what is already a pretty big log jam. Ideally, Joba would be a bridge type reliever that would allow the Twins to get to setup man Casey Fien and eventually closer Glen Perkins. In that role already however, the Twins have Caleb Thielbar, potentially Mike Pelfrey, and even Brian Duensing. All of those options are already in-house, and outside of Pelfrey, they are all probably cheaper as well.
Around Twins Territory, it seems that Joba Chamberlain has always been a name that comes to mind, potentially as much as former Yankees teammate Phil Hughes. At this point however, it would seem like there is no realistic fit, and that there would need to be a significant decline in the asking price before the Twins get in on the conversation.
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