Once upon a time, the triumvirate of Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy were supposed to lead the New York Yankees to the promised land. These three were more like Generation K than the Braves trio of John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux. Kennedy was used in the three-team deal for Curtis Granderson, Phil Hughes has been up and down as a starter (though dominant as a reliever in 2009) and Joba? Well, enigmatic could be a good choice of wording.
Chamberlain is set to be a free agent at the end of the year, and with the Yankees austerity plan, may not be in the team’s future. I was having a conversation with my father about Joba and he asked a very important question, what has he done since 2007? That’s a great question. Here are his stats since the season of the Cleveland bug series;
2008: 4-3 2.60
2010: 3-4 4.40
2011: 2-0 2.83
2013: 0-0 5.60
Granted, some of this wasn’t his fault. The organization’s lack of a plan in figuring out what role he would have, and the Tommy John surgery that followed, didn’t exactly help Joba grow as a pitcher. The freak trampoline injury didn’t help either.
The once top prospect has turned into a question mark. Does he still think he can start? Can he be a late inning reliever? Can the Yankees get anything for him if they want to deal him?
The Yankees have a lot of depth in the bullpen, and they could clearly use a bat because even when guys like Alex Rodriguez (yes folks, too bad, he’s coming back and the Yankees need him) and Granderson come back, how much can you expect from them?
The problem is, Joba really has no value right now. He’s an expiring contract with an uncertain role. Other than a c-level prospect what would you give as a GM for another team? It’s probably not worth it to the Yankees to deal him for that.
Joba will most likely be on the squad for the rest of the year. As for 2014? Your guess is as good as mine.