Joba Chamberlain Rumors
The Yankees would consider swapping Joba Chamberlain, but "probably only" as part of a larger package for a "viable starter," tweets Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated. Chamberlain's name was connected to trade rumors last summer, as teams like the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays were trying to "buy low" on Chamberlain, but there was never an indication that the Yankees were seriously considering moving the right-hander.
Chamberlain, 25, was rated as the third-best prospect in the sport by Baseball America before the 2008 season. His star dimmed a bit after a shaky 2009 season in the New York rotation (4.75 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 rate, a league-leading 12 hit batters), but he pitched better out of the bullpen last season, posting a 4.40 ERA, a 2.8 BB/9 rate, and a 3.5 K/BB ratio. Chamberlain is eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter and is under team control through the 2013 season.
Heyman says Chamberlain will remain a reliever for the Yankees "for now." We heard last month that the club wasn't thinking of moving Chamberlain back to the rotation, but even if Chamberlain's role changed, there's no guarantee he would bring needed stability to the back end of the Bronx Bombers' rotation. Moving Chamberlain would be a win-now move on New York's part, but given the team's fruitless pursuit of Cliff Lee and Andy Pettitte's lean towards retirement, the Yankees may be so uncomfortable with their starting pitching that they feel dealing an asset like Chamberlain is necessary.
We found out lots about the Bronx Bombers' search for pitching yesterday: it seems likely that Andy Pettitte will return to the Yankees, they don't like Brandon Webb that much and they're looking at left-handed relievers. We've since learned that they're making progress with Pedro Feliciano and that deals for Carlos Zambrano or Felix Hernandez seem unlikely at best. Here's the latest on their pitching hunt, plus news on a position player:
- The Yankees are not in on Rafael Soriano, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link). They aren't anxious to pay closer money for a pitcher who will set up for Mariano Rivera. ESPN.com's Buster Olney agrees that the Yankees are not in on Soriano (Twitter link).
- The Yankees and Dodgers are the "most aggressive" of the four teams interested in Bill Hall, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. We heard about the Yankees' interest in Hall last month, and the Astros and Pirates are probably the other two clubs in the hunt.
- The Yanks have asked for the medicals on Freddy Garcia, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com (Twitter link).
- In spite of the club's lack of rotation depth, Brian Cashman tells MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez that Joba Chamberlain will remain in the bullpen.
- In another piece from Alden Gonzalez, Mariano Rivera says that the Red Sox did pursue him this offseason, but he can't really imagine pitching for Boston.
MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post
The latest on the Yankees, as GM Brian Cashman prepares to rappel down a building dressed as an elf on Sunday...
- Eduardo Nunez is the team's Plan B if they are unable to re-sign Derek Jeter, reports ESPN's Buster Olney. Rather than try to sign a veteran replacement, the Yankees would install Nunez and allocate the money elsewhere. Of course, Olney feels that the Yankees would remain flexible for potential upgrades if Nunez became their starting shortstop.
- SI's Tom Verducci looks at how other teams have compensated aging icons in recent years, with Cal Ripken, Barry Larkin, George Brett, Craig Biggio, and Paul Molitor serving as examples. It may be difficult to reduce Jeter's pay from his previous $18.9MM average annual value.
- Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues estimates Joba Chamberlain's 2011 salary at a bit less than $2MM.
Newsday's Ken Davidoff has some notes up about both New York teams in his latest blog post. Let's take a look at some of the highlights:
- Joba Chamberlain has "slipped down the Yankees' food chain," writes Davidoff. Joba will be arbitration-eligible and due for a nice raise, and it wouldn't surprise Davidoff to see the Yankees at least listen to offers on the 25-year-old. Over his last two seasons (229 IP), Joba's managed just a 4.64 ERA to go with an 8.3 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 (his 2010 peripherals are much stronger than 2009). Still, I'd imagine a substantial amount of interest if he were made available.
- Lance Berkman doesn't think he'll be a Yankee in 2011 and Davidoff agrees. He praises Berkman for getting his big moments in Game 2 of the ALDS and calls him an "eminently likeable man." That personality may be a factor that teams consider this offseason as Berkman looks for an everyday role, and not just a platoon spot.
- Sandy Alderson will most likely interview with the Mets next week about their GM opening. According to Davidoff, Alderson is a "dream candidate" for the Mets and he can't see how the Mets wouldn't give him the position if he's interested.
Links for Friday, exactly two years after the Rockies claimed Livan Hernandez from the Twins...
- The Blue Jays and Yankees discussed Jose Bautista before the deadline, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. Some say talks never got serious, but Heyman suggests the Blue Jays would have wanted Brett Gardner and Joba Chamberlain in exchange for Bautista.
- Red Sox owner John Henry told Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse that his club will need “a miracle” to topple the Rays and Yankees.
- One rival GM told MLB.com’s Peter Gammons that "the Royals and Pirates have done what small-market teams should do with their revenue-sharing money." Check out Gammons’ article for more on how the Royals, Pirates and Indians are stockpiling young talent to return to prominence.
- The Giants were not the team that won the waiver claim on Adam Dunn, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. An unknown team claimed Dunn yesterday.
- Tim Dierkes lists his All-Dropped Lineup at RotoAuthority. Fantasy players will want to see why Tim believes it’s rare to find breakout position players on waivers midseason in a competitive 12-team mixed league.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney suggests the Royals will probably start seriously listening to offers for Zack Greinke this winter. The reigning Cy Young Award winner expressed his frustration with the organization yesterday.
- Mets GM Omar Minaya told Dan Martin of the New York Post that he thinks his club can go on a hot streak and make some noise in the NL East. New York is currently 7.5 games out of a playoff spot.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post believes that last year's championship means the Yankees wouldn't undo Alex Rodriguez's massive contract even if they could go back in time and let him sign elsewhere.
- The Yankees will track Jose Guillen, according to George A. King III of the New York Post. The Royals designated the outfielder for assignment yesterday.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports lists the top post-trade deadline developments around the majors.
8:02pm: The Blue Jays are asking the Mets for a top prospect in exchange for Downs according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (via Twitter). The Twins have assigned a scout to watch the Blue Jays' relievers, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
7:48am: Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has the best reliever available in Scott Downs, and he knows it. Check out these asking prices for two months of Downs' services, courtesy of George A. King III of the New York Post: Joba Chamberlain or Jesus Montero from the Yankees, Casey Kelly or Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox (Montero link from SI's Jon Heyman via Twitter). With almost 80 hours remaining until the trade deadline, it doesn't hurt to ask.
Other teams are also trying to buy low on Chamberlain, who sports a 5.95 ERA, 10.0 K/9, and 3.6 BB/9 in 42.3 relief innings this year. The Diamondbacks also tried to get Chamberlain as part of a Dan Haren deal. Joba is under team control through 2013 and arbitration-eligible for the first time after this season.
Regarding the Yankees' search for a bench bat, King says they've spoken to the Orioles about Ty Wigginton. The O's are dangling Miguel Tejada, who's generated only lukewarm interest from the Yanks. Tejada is said to be the Phillies' primary infield target. As for a Yankees-Orioles deal, SI's Jon Heyman tweeted two days ago that O's owner Peter Angelos doesn't want to trade with his division rival.
The Diamondbacks' asking price for Dan Haren still exceeds what most teams are willing to offer, as the Yankees and Tigers have balked at deals centered around Joba Chamberlain and Jacob Turner respectively. However, despite being on Haren's no-trade list, the Tigers are still in play since the right-hander is expected to strongly consider playing anywhere he has a chance to win. Those were the highlights of yesterday's Haren rumors, so let's move on to today's. Any new updates will show up at the top of the page throughout the day....
- SI's Jon Heyman tweets that in addition to Chamberlain, the Yankees are hesitant to part with pitchers Hector Noesi and Dellin Betances in a potential Haren trade.
- John Harper of the New York Daily News writes that the Yankees are under no pressure to trade for Haren and that any deal they make will be on their own terms. ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider required) agrees with Harper's assessment, noting that the Yanks would take on Haren's salary and give up "B-plus prospects" in a trade, but that they won't move their best prospects.
- If the Yankees were to acquire Haren, it would compromise their chances of signing Cliff Lee this winter, says Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman also hears that the D'Backs would like to get their payroll down to about $60MM for 2011, further motivating them to move Haren now.
The Diamondbacks seem determined to move ace Dan Haren before his next start on Tuesday, and it appeared as though the Yankees became the favorite to land the right-hander yesterday. D-Backs' CEO Derrick Hall hedged his bets, saying there was no front-runner, and that other clubs had offers "of at least equal value out there." The Twins, Tigers, Phillies, and Cardinals all continue to maintain interest in Haren as well.
With all that in mind, here is today's collection of Haren rumors, with more to come...
- Haren's no-trade list probably won't matter in the way that it has for Roy Oswalt, as Haren wants to have a chance to win, a source told Olney (via Twitter).
- Haren would prefer to stay in the west, a source told Heyman (via Twitter). However, the hurler is willing to consider all suitors, which is why talks continue with clubs like Detroit and Minnesota.
- It is possible that the Phillies will trade Jayson Werth in order to get the prospects necessary to land Haren, according to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Alternatively, the D'Backs could take advantage where the Phillies' farm system is strongest: its lower levels. Arizona is said to have interest in one single-A player in particular, 18-year-old slugger Jonathan Singleton.
- The Tigers don't want to give up Jacob Turner for Haren and they are also on Haren's no-trade list, tweets Heyman. He adds that Ted Lilly is a "possible second choice" for Detroit.
- There have been no conversations today between the D'Backs and the Yankees, says Olney (via Twitter).
- Arizona is asking the Tigers for pitchers Jacob Turner and Andrew Oliver, tweets Olney.
- The Dodgers were actively talking to Arizona about Haren before Josh Byrnes was fired according to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link). They are not a prominent suitor now.
- ESPN's Buster Olney says the Yankees do not value Haren as much as they did Cliff Lee, and they consider him a risk because of his performance this year (Twitter links). Hence their reluctance to take on Haren's entire contract and deal a boatload of prospects.
- The Yankees are willing to surrender Nova, pitching prospect Zach McAllister, and two prospects for Haren, but they will not eat money and include Chamberlain in a trade, tweets SI.com's Jon Heyman. McAllister's father works in Arizona's scouting department. In a second tweet, Heyman says the Yanks would be willing to pay all of the money left on Haren's deal, but they balked at taking Chad Qualls and Chris Snyder as well.
- ESPN's Jayson Stark says the Yankees were "never close" to a deal for a Haren, having rejected a D-Backs' proposal that would have sent Joba Chamberlain, highly regarded pitching prospect Ivan Nova, and two others to Arizona. The Yanks countered with a package built entirely around prospects. Another sticking point is the $33MM left on Haren's contract, which the D-Backs wanted the Yanks to assume in full. New York, like other interested clubs, wanted the quality of the players in the deal to be dependent on how much of Haren's contract Arizona is willing to eat.
- Sean Brennan, Mark Feinsand, and Roger Rubin of The New York Daily News spoke to a source who indicated that while the Yankees would like to swing a deal for Haren, they won't do so "at all costs."
In today's blog post at ESPN (Insider req'd), Buster Olney says that even though things aren't going so well for the Royals at the big league level, rival scouts and executives gush about the quality of their farm system. "Our goal is by 2012 and 2013 to have as many homegrown guys playing as we can," said GM Dayton Moore, which Olney likens to the way the Twins and Rays are built.
Here are the rest of his rumors...
- One scout opined that we're likely to see more managerial changes this offseason than ever before. Olney lists 12 teams that could be looking for a new manager this winter, and reminds us that Tony LaRussa, Joe Girardi, and Dusty Baker do not have contracts in place for beyond this season.
- The Nationals are concerned about whether or not Adam Dunn's body will hold up during a three or four-year deal, but Olney spoke to one AL evaluator who pointed out that Dunn's ability to hit homers is gaining more value as time goes on.
- The Diamondbacks have prioritized the acquisition of a closer, hence their request for Joba Chamberlain in a potential Dan Haren trade.
- Olney speculates that Lance Berkman could be a fit for the Rays next year, since they'll need to replace Carlos Pena.
Another day removed from Christmas, let's hope we see a few more signs of life today from the hot stove. In the meantime, let's check out a handful of links....
- Chad Jennings examines the decision the Yankees are facing, as they decide whether Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain is their fifth starter. Jennings feels that the best decision is for Hughes to start, with Joba being bumped back to the bullpen, for now. He feels both should be starters in the long run.
- The Reds shouldn't trade away any of their starting pitching, writes Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News.
- Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports answers some frequently asked Orioles-related questions in his latest piece.
- The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly writes that the Orioles have made significant strides in scouting and signing international players over the last couple years.
- After parting ways with Curtis Granderson, the Tigers are searching for a player to take over their leadoff spot, according to the Detroit Free Press.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff (subscription required) tells Mets fans to relax, arguing that the team's offseason hasn't been too bad so far, and that there's still plenty of winter to come.
- Joseph Pawlikowski at River Ave. Blues wonders if Jerry Hairston Jr. will fit into the Yankees' 2010 plans.