Joba Chamberlain will have a job in the major leagues in 2014. The former New York media sensation and sometime-Yankees-pitcher has agreed to a one-year deal with the Detroit Tigers for $2.5 million plus incentives.
Chamberlain posted a 4.93 ERA over 42 innings last season with they Yanks. Once upon a time this guy was a legit New York phenom: In 2009 he had 31 starts, going 9-6 with 133 strikeouts in 157 innings and seemed on his way to the top.
The only thing bigger than Joba’s fastball was his beer-drinking hillbilly personality. He seemed tailor-made for the New York market. But you have to stay healthy and produce in New York or they turn on you faster than a scorned goomar. So now he’s in Detroit looking for a second chance.
The Tigers are preparing themselves for the likely defection of reliever Joaquin Benoit, and hope Chamberlain can help fill that void. He still has the stuff but can he get his head together enough to become a reliable late relief man?
The spotlight will not be quite so bright in Detroit. That could be a good thing for Joba. Or maybe he’s just washed-up.