Tigers Sign Joba Chamberlain

11:56am: Chamberlain's deal includes $500K in performance bonuses based on games pitched that would bring his salary up to $3MM, tweets Jason Beck of MLB.com. 

10:35am: Having already added Joe Nathan to solidify the ninth inning, the Tigers made an upside play by adding right-hander Joba Chamberlain to the mix. The Tigers today officially announced the signing of Chamberlain to a one-year deal that is reportedly worth $2.5MM plus incentives. Chamberlain is represented by Jim Murray of Excel Sports Management.

The 28-year-old former top prospect struggled through his worst season (in terms of ERA) as a Major Leaguer in 2013, posting a 4.93 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 5.6 BB/9 and a 41.5 percent ground-ball rate in 42 innings for the Yankees. Chamberlain was significantly better away from Yankee Stadium, posting a 3.54 ERA on the road compared to a 6.23 mark at home in a roughly equal sample size. Chamberlain's velocity remained strong in his first full season back from 2011 Tommy John surgery, as he averaged a healthy 94.7 mph on his fastball.

Chamberlain will join a new-look Tigers bullpen that features active saves leader Joe Nathan in the ninth inning. Joaquin Benoit is on the free agent market but doesn't appear likely to return, and left-hander Drew Smyly figures to shift from the 'pen into the rotation following the offseason trade of Doug Fister to the Nationals. Left-hander Ian Krol, acquired in the Fister deal, should join Nathan and Chamberlain as new additions.

Further additions seem unlikely, as GM Dave Dombrowski told Lynn Henning of the Detroit News on Thursday that his offseason shopping was mostly done, save for one bullpen arm that "won't be a biggie" (Twitter link).

Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports first tweeted that the Tigers were a possible landing spot for Chamberlain. ESPN's Buster Olney reported (via Twitter) that the Tigers' interest was "serious," and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that a one-year agreement was in place (Twitter link). Olney then reported news of the $2.5MM guarantee plus incentives (on Twitter).


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165 Comments on "Tigers Sign Joba Chamberlain"


Member
Rollie Fingerbangers
1 year 6 months ago

The rest of the AL Central loves this move… Maybe the Tigers need to see what Joel Zumaya is up to as well…

Member
Ruben_Tomorrow
1 year 6 months ago

This is a move if the Rays or Cardinals made it, they are geniuses, but if 20 other teams make it they have “no idea” what they are doing.

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Karkat
1 year 6 months ago

There’s a reason that neither the Rays nor the Cardinals made this move…….

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slider32
1 year 6 months ago

As far as I know Rays have never won a world series!

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Karkat
1 year 6 months ago

Considering the Rays have only been a legitimate team for 6 seasons I’m not sure what your point is

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HarveyDaGod
1 year 6 months ago

im not sure what yours is either…

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Rollie Fingerbangers
1 year 6 months ago

Your being a homer. If you think Joba is a big signing. Then the Tigers have BIG problems.

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Ruben_Tomorrow
1 year 6 months ago

It’s not a big signing, but for the money I don’t think it’s an awful signing. Joba looked done last season, but I don’t want to entirely write him off yet. I would like to see him get his chance with another organization before casting a final judgment on him.

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Taylor Hope
1 year 6 months ago

You are clearly missing the point.

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alphabet_soup5
1 year 6 months ago

The rest of the AL Central still hates that the Tigers have the three best SP in the division along with the best hitter.

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durf81
1 year 6 months ago

I think Sale is above at least Sanchez…

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Nathan Walter
1 year 6 months ago

1. Scherzer
2. Verlander
3. Sale
4. Shields
5. Sanchez

In my opinion.

Member
snapcase8p
1 year 6 months ago

I don’t know, I’m a Tigers’ fan and if you told me to pick one pitcher to start a game for me, I might go with Sale. Long term, I’m not sure only cause I feel like his delivery screams arm troubles in the future.

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FunkyTime
1 year 6 months ago

I don’t know how you can say that after the playoffs this year. Verlander, yet again, came up huge in every single game. And Scherzer wasn’t far behind him.

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snapcase8p
1 year 6 months ago

Please, aside from padding his stats against the A’s woeful offenses the last couple of years, Verlander has been mostly disappointing in the playoffs and in big games.

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Kirk Edward Gerwin
1 year 6 months ago

yeah those game 5 starts deciding your fate is just padding the stats.

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alphabet_soup5
1 year 6 months ago

The A’s woeful offenses? From 2012-2013 they’ve been 7th in the AL in wOBA, and 2nd in ISO.

How has Verlander disappointed in the postseason? Since 2012, he has 51.3 innings and a 1.40 ERA. That’s dominant if you ask me.

Member
snapcase8p
1 year 6 months ago

You can pull whatever stats you want, but the truth is, no one is scared of Oaklands’ offense. When Coco Crisp is your most relied on hitter, your offense has problems.

Member
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

What on earth are you talking about? He had a .039 ERA in the playoffs. What a bum!

I refuse to believe you’re a Tigers fan. More likely just someone looking to troll.

Member
Guest
1 year 6 months ago

What on earth are you talking about? He had an ERA of 0.39 in the playoffs. How disappointing!

I refuse to believe you’re a Tigers fan. More likely just someone looking to troll.

Member
snapcase8p
1 year 6 months ago

Take out Verlander’s stats versus the A’s the last 2 years and then tell me how well JV’s career playoff numbers look. And I love the Tigers, doesn’t mean I’m a complete homer. Just because you want to look at JV with lust in your eye, doesn’t mean everyone else has to. While JV is a great pitcher, there are a few other pitchers I would take over him. And if you’ve watched the Tigers as much as I have, then you would know JV does has a tendency to choke in big games. Either way, I stand by what I said. If it came down to one game, I think I would choose Sale over JV. Long term, it would be JV because his delivery is much more natural than Sale’s and I fear an arm injury for him.

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FunkyTime
1 year 6 months ago

It’s completely insane to think that those dominant game 5 performances against the As were not big games. Those were the biggest games JV has ever pitched, and he performed amazingly.

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C. McCarthy
1 year 6 months ago

Yeah, he beat CC and CJ Wilson (respective team aces in 2011), dominated Oak in ’12 and ’13, and shut down NY and Bos the same years. How disappointing. He laid one egg against the Giants on the road in ’12 and struggled in ’06 (rookie season).

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Tribe82
1 year 6 months ago

As a Tribe fan…I’d love to see Sale pitch against us everyday.

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paqza
1 year 6 months ago

I respectfully disagree with Shields above Sánchez on performance but I do agree on health.

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tune-in for baseball
1 year 6 months ago

I think he meant the top three in order. You are comparing a #1 to a #3. IMO Sanchez will have as good or better season in ’14 as Max.

Member
Overbrook
1 year 6 months ago

Tigers will walk away with the division this year. But their window continues to narrow, and soon those pitchers will be rolling off except for Verlander, who has reached his peak already. By 2016, it will be the Twins fighting it out with the White Sox.

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disadvantage
1 year 6 months ago

Somehwere in the world, Joel Zumaya is playing Rock Band.

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phillies1102
1 year 6 months ago

They need to hire a Santa Claus for Comerica Park, and Joba has the perfect build for the job.

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matt luce
1 year 6 months ago

Tigers have made there team terrible so far. Bad moves

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Rizzo44
1 year 6 months ago

Kinsler is a nice pick up. Top 5 in 2b in the entire league unfortunately his numbers will suffer in Comerica

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airohpue13
1 year 6 months ago

Ya the Tigers are terrible, I only hope they finish with a better record than the Astros….Some people…

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abbatoirnoises
1 year 6 months ago

I don’t quite understand that comment. Maybe some of his home runs will go down, but I’d expect him to be able to make it up in doubles & triples in Comerica. For a top of the lineup bat, that’s all Detroit needs from him.

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abbatoirnoises
1 year 6 months ago

The Fister deal is the only one they’ve really “lost” and time will tell if the prospect they got back evens out. Their station-to-station style wasn’t working in the playoffs, so with a new manager they decided to be a more versatile team that can manufacture runs. Seems like a logical idea to me.

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Paul Burdette
1 year 6 months ago

I totally agree. What was the one thing the Tigers COULD do in the playoffs? Pitch. What were the 3 things they COULD NOT do in the playoffs? Field, Run the bases, and Hit. I understand hitting is mostly a mental thing, but at least they will now be better defensively and be able to run the base paths with the speed.

Dont get me wrong though, I will miss watching the Big Boy truck down the base paths.

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Taylor Hope
1 year 6 months ago

Agreed. Not to mention, OP is deciding Detroit has gotten worse before even playing a game this season. Wouldn’t shock me if they were actually better than last year. Should have a more stable pen, Cleveland hasn’t exactly made any big splashes this offseason and Dayton Moore continues to be Dayton Moore.

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EightMileCats
1 year 6 months ago

Eh, I don’t like this move so much. At least not at that price. I like the Fielder/Kinsler swap, Davis and Nathan signings. It gives the Tigers a new identity where a power outage at a bad time doesn’t end is disaster.

I am, however, going to pretend that Doug Fister decided to retire early and the trade never happened.

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Nathan Walter
1 year 6 months ago

The other teams in the NL East don’t have the luxury of that piece of mind.

However, Joba’s move isn’t that bad… it’s a 1-year deal… if it were a 3-year deal, different story. 1-year, low dollar deal means your fans can’t complain.

Member
EightMileCats
1 year 6 months ago

Issue I have with it is you could’ve kept Veras for a mere 1.35 mil more if Joba fails to hit any incentives at all… That’s figuring the 4 Mil salary for Veras minus the buyout.
And I personally have more faith in Veras

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Jake13
1 year 6 months ago

Do you realize that over the course of their careers Joba is the better pitcher and has way better stuff?

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EightMileCats
1 year 6 months ago

A lot of that can be credited to his breakout rookie season. He’s been dreadful the last 3 years

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Jake13
1 year 6 months ago

He still has great stuff and has had stretches where he’s been good. If Jeff Jones fixed Scherzer he can certainly fix Joba.

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EightMileCats
1 year 6 months ago

If Joba can be fixed, it’s a great move…. But that’s a big if

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Taylor Hope
1 year 6 months ago

I understand where you’re going with this but even after the injury, Joba’s “upside” is higher than Veras’. As unlikely as it is, Joba has the tools to be a great pen piece who is 5x better than Veras. Again, unlikely, but that chance alone is worth paying $1.35M less, IMO.

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Rizzo44
1 year 6 months ago

Joba the hut is gonna get rocked all year. The tigers will end up dfa

Member
paqza
1 year 6 months ago

Joba’s going to throw gas and win the Comeback Player of the Year award.

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Beantownbomber13
1 year 6 months ago

HA! That’s awful.