JAN. 23: It is indeed a minor league agreement for Chamberlain, and the contract is now complete, tweets Heyman. The 31-year-old right-hander has a $1.375MM base upon making the big league club and can earn additional incentives beyond that point, Heyman further reports.
JAN. 20: The Brewers have agreed to a deal with veteran righty Joba Chamberlain, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). Though it’s not mentioned in the report, it seems likely that the contract is of the minor-league variety.
Chamberlain, 31, put up a 2.25 ERA in twenty frames for the Indians last year. Though he allowed only a dozen hits, however, he surely benefited from a .216 BABIP and posted a mediocre 18:11 K/BB ratio. After permitting three free passes in an outing in early July, he was designated and later released by Cleveland (after he refused an outright assignment).
While there were obviously some limitations in Chamberlain’s game, it was surprising that he did not end up joining another organization in 2016. He had managed to post a sturdy 11.6% swinging-strike rate, was not allowing much hard contact, and was averaging better than 93 mph with his fastball when he was cut loose.
Milwaukee now becomes the latest team to have a look at the one-time top prospect, who has spent time with four organizations over the last three years since leaving the Yankees. Chamberlain figures to join the battle in camp for a role in a Brewers’ pen that figures to have a few spots up for grabs this spring.