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.
Rian Watt of Baseball Prospectus is hearing that a trade that would send Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs involves prospect Gleyber Torres and more going to the Yankees. He adds that the holdup in the trade talks is centered around a contract extension for Chapman, believed to be around four years in length and $60 million total. The deal may not be finalized if the Cubs don’t get him signed to an extension they like. In Watt’s words, “Package is set. Extension is not.”
We learned earlier on Sunday that the Yankees were working hard to trade Chapman, reportedly in contact with at least four teams. The Cubs were not believed to be the front runners but certainly upped the ante by offering Torres.
Torres, 19, is rated the Cubs’ #1 prospect and #24 overall in baseball by MLB Pipeline. The shortstop has spent the season with Single-A Myrtle Beach, batting .275/.359/.433 with nine home runs, 47 RBI, 62 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 409 plate appearances.
Torres is currently roadblocked at shortstop by Addison Russell, and 21-year-old Ian Happ is rated #3 in the Cubs’ system, so the club would be dealing from surplus.
Prior to Sunday afternoon’s game against the Mariners, the Blue Jays designated reliever Drew Storen for assignment and recalled reliever Ryan Tepera from Triple-A Buffalo.
Storen, 28, had a nightmare of a time with the Jays, leaving with a 6.21 ERA and a 32/10 K/BB ratio over 33 1/3 innings. The Jays acquired him in January from the Nationals in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere and a player to be named later.
Storen is owed the remainder of his $8.375 million salary, which makes it likelier that the right-hander will pass through waivers unclaimed. He’ll be eligible for free agency after the season.