Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Why All the Interest in Joba Chamberlain?

Joba Chamberlain might be bullpen option for a dozen teams?

Some things you got to see to believe…

Not surprising the New York Yankees have no interest in Joba Chamberlain. No remnants from the “Joba Rules” remain. What might surprise some is that there are “more than a dozen teams” that have interest.

Honestly, I’m not surprised one bit. Maybe at the number, but not that some teams have an interest in the former Yankee. Teams are always looking for cheaper routes to fill holes within their bullpen. Chamberlain could fill that need. He made almost $1.9MM last season. Unless a team believes Chamberlain can be effective as he was in the past, he won’t see that for the 2014 season.

Granted, it wasn’t a spectacular season by any means. The issue: control. His walk rate doubled from 2012 to 2013, going from 2.61 BB/9 to 5.57. Chamberlain’s SO/9 was the second lowest of his career at 8.14.

So why “more than a dozen…”?

Joba posted his highest strand rate (81.2% in 42 IP) since his first season (96.6% in 24 IP).

But perhaps more intriguing is that the guy’s has not suffered from loss of velocity. If you take away what Joba displayed in his first season, the velocities are in line and extremely consistent. Even after enduring Tommy John (2011) and a dislocated ankle (2012), Chamberlain hasn’t lost anything off his fastball. Where there is a loss is with his slider, and that is more prevalent from 2012 to 2013.

There is a negative to this though. Chamberlain’s fastball has not been deemed a “plus pitch” over the past two seasons. That could be a myriad of issues, but teams are reportedly willing to take on Chamberlain as a reclamation project. If it’s a mechanical issue that’s casing the wildness, a little work would certainly go a long way.

Add that Chamberlain’s fWAR has seen a steady decline since ’08.

Chamberlain could pose the ultimate low-risk, high-reward option in a team’s pen. As I stated, work will need to be done.

(H/T: Hardball Talk)

Tags: Joba Chamberlain

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