Andy McCullough of The Kansas City Star reports that the Royals have signed pitchers Joba Chamberlain and Wandy Rodriguez to minor league deals. Both will report to Triple-A Omaha.
Chamberlain, 29, was released by the Blue Jays on Friday. They had signed him to a minor league deal 11 days after the Tigers released him in July, but he gave up 10 runs (eight earned) in five innings with Triple-A Buffalo. He put up a 4.09 ERA with a 15/5 K/BB ratio in 22 innings at the major league level with the Tigers.
Rodriguez, 36, was released by the Rangers on August 4 after compiling a 4.90 ERA with a 72/36 K/BB ratio in 86 1/3 innings.
Joba Chamberlain, who signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays after being released by the Tigers last month, has now been released from the Triple-A team by Toronto.
Chamberlain was awful at Triple-A, allowing 10 runs in five innings, and had an opt-out clause in his contract.
He was actually a decent middle reliever for the Tigers, posting a 3.71 ERA and 74/29 K/BB ratio in 85 innings in 2014 and 2015, but “decent middle reliever” when viewed through the prism of his sky-high expectations as a Yankees prospect is why Chamberlain seems to get a lot more criticism than most pitchers with his ERA.
He’ll latch on somewhere else as a potential setup man, although perhaps not until the offseason.
As first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Blue Jays have reached agreement on a minor league deal with reliever Joba Chamberlain.
Joba was cut loose by the Tigers before the All-Star break after posting a 4.09 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, and 15/5 K/BB ratio across 22 innings. He doesn’t seem to be much of a weapon anymore at age 29, but the Blue Jays are desperate for pitching help of any kind.
Entering play Tuesday, the Toronto pitching staff (starters and relievers) had a combined 4.10 ERA. That ranks 23rd out of the 30 major league teams.
Chamberlain will presumably join the bullpen at Triple-A Buffalo for now.
The Tigers DFA’d Joba Chamberlain a week ago. Unlike his DFA Mate, Tom Gorzelanny, Chamberlain did not accept an assignment to Toledo, nor did the Tigers manage to trade him. As such he was given his unconditional release this afternoon and he’s now a free agent.
Old people may remember when Bobby Cox was fired at the end of his first tour of duty managing the Braves. At the time owner Ted Turner was asked who the best guy was to replace him. And Turner famously said “Bobby Cox.” It was funny, but it’s also speaks to a change that was made for the sake of making a change. SOMETHING had to be done, so fire Cox, even if we can’t really see how we can do better than him.
It’s something of the same situation with Joba, I think. His season in Detroit was not good by any stretch. He made 30 appearances on the year, posting a 4.09 ERA and an ugly 1.682 WHIP while striking out 15 and walking five in 22 innings. But the guys who were called up when Chamberlain and Gorzelanny were let go — Jeff Ferrell and Drew VerHagen — have been cover-your-eyes bad. As I watched each of those lads toil for the Tigers last weekend I kept thinking “man, wouldn’t they rather have Joba there?”
Maybe at some point this summer Brad Ausmus will wish he had a merely bad reliever instead of a terrible one. But by then Chamberlain will likely have latched on someplace else, as most relievers do.