Joba Chamberlain is closing in on a rehab assignment

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When Joba Chamberlain first dislocated his right ankle back in March, he was considered a long shot to pitch this season. However, it’s now a realistic possibility that he could rejoin the Yankees’ bullpen within the next few weeks.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger yesterday that Chamberlain could begin a minor league rehab assignment as soon as Tuesday. The 26-year-old right-hander threw a simulated game yesterday and should be cleared for a rehab stint if he makes it through a bullpen session tomorrow with no issues.

Chamberlain would likely need most of his 30-day rehab window to get tuned up for a return to the majors, but Girardi hasn’t dismissed the possibility that he could be activated sooner. He hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery last June.

Cubs acquire Martín Maldonado from the Royals

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Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.

Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.

Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.