Yankees avoid arbitration with Joba Chamberlain by agreeing to one-year deal

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The Yankees announced this evening that they have avoided arbitration with right-hander Joba Chamberlain by agreeing to a one-year contract. Ken Davidoff of the New York Post hears that he’ll make $1.875 million, which is a slight raise from his $1.65 million salary last year.

Chamberlain was on track to return from Tommy John surgery during the first half last year, but the timeline changed dramatically after he suffered a right ankle dislocation on a trampoline during spring training. While it was initially feared that he would miss the entire season, he made his way back to the majors by August 1. The 27-year-old right-hander ended up posting a 4.35 ERA and 22/6 K/BB ratio over 20 2/3 innings during the regular season and pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings during the postseason.

Chamberlain averaged 94.7 mph in his return last season, which is right in line with where he was before Tommy John surgery, so he should be a useful piece in the mid-to-late innings. This was his final year of arbitration, so he’s currently due to become a free agent next offseason.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.