Joba Chamberlain has signed a one-year deal to return to the Tigers

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UPDATE: The physical is passed and the deal is official: $1 million plus incentives. Oh, and Chamberlain’s beard is gone if you care about such things.

7:12 AM: Joba Chamberlain has had a long offseason and had no team when pitchers and catchers reported last week. He has one now, however, reports Ken Rosenthal: the Detroit Tigers, where he spent 2014. He’s signed on a one-year, major league deal pending a physical.

Chamberlain tossed 63 innings with a 3.57 ERA and 59/24 K/BB ratio for the Tigers last season, though his first half was better than his second and his ALDS performance against the Orioles was a train wreck. As Rosenthal reported last month, however, Chamberlain was dealing with some family issues late last season which Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski says contributed to his second half decline.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.