Should the Yankees trade Joba Chamberlain?

The Yankees should trade Joba Chamberlain.

Yes, I said it. Now, before I am criticized – such a response is understandable – or, at the least, ridiculed for that statement, allow me to explain my perspective. First, from a macro standpoint, good starters are generally more valuable than good relievers. Let’s establish that much, at least. As Dave Allen of FanGraphs notes, “an elite reliever is worth about the same as a just slightly above average starter,” which underscores this notion of good starterdom versus good relieverdom, with good starterdom winning every time. With that said, moving from macro (general) to micro (specific), Joba Chamberlain’s value is intimately tied to his role on the Yankees. As a reliever, even an elite reliever, he is just not as valuable as he would be if he were an above average piece of the team’s starting pitching. Joba has that ability, though – to be an above average starter – and other ballclubs know that. They have seen it.

So, if the young righty is “stuck” in the Bronx bullpen, why not cash in?

Despite the face saving comments made recently by Yankee GM, Brian Cashman, now that Joba will be reinserted into the back-end of the bullpen, I, like Billy Eppler, truly doubt we will see him in the rotation in 2011 or beyond. It appears as though his Yankee career is destined to be that of a setup man, bridging the gap to the impregnable Mariano Rivera (until Rivera retires, at that point, if Joba is still around, the closer job would be his). If that is the case, why not move Joba now, while his value as a starter – his potential in that regard – is still high? Relievers are just not that valuable and can often be replaced. So, trade him for something more important than a reliever (this post can be applied later in the season, when a true need arises). If he were moved, I’m sure that a David Robertson, a Chan Ho Park, a Damaso Marte, or a Mark Melancon could replace his current role on the team.

Photo by Reuters Pictures

22 thoughts on “Should the Yankees trade Joba Chamberlain?

  1. Trev

    I guess your comments depend on whether Joba is worth anything right now. They should have traded him when he was actually worth something, like for Johan or Holliday (Though getting CC was just fine). I’m not sure how much you’d get for him considering the Yankees obviously don’t have confidence in his stuff anymore (and so I assume other GMs may also lack faith). At least giving him a stint in the bullpen may help him regain some of his lost value. I could be wrong, but seeing what Joba has been throwing now adays I’m just not impressed.

    • narkosynthesis1@yahoo.com

      he sucks now. his arm is jacked up obviously. his velocity is around 92 miles an hour on his fastball, which doesnt move. his slider used to be in the low 90′s and his 4 seem fastball was upper 90′s to 100. he is worthless in terms of winning another world series

  2. Matt Imbrogno

    I’d like to explore the option, but Chamberlain’s value is absolutely shot at this point. As I’ve written previously, if the Yankees don’t think he can stick as a fifth starter for a second year in a row, why would another team pretend to? They don’t have to give the Yankees what Chamberlain is actually worth, but rather what he is perceived to be worth, and as of right now, that doesn’t seem to be much.

    • chris h

      yankies suck so bad I cant even want to spell their team name rite

  3. The Bif City of Dreams

    and the yankees are to blame for this mess

  4. Can we trade Joba to SD for Adrian Gonzalez? So what if we have a 1B?!?!

    /half joking, but not telling which half

  5. Reggie C.

    Joba for Michael Taylor (LF prospect for the Athletics)? … nah, not going to happen. Billy Beane wouldn’t give it more than a 10 second thought.

  6. The problem with that is what do we do in 2011? At this point, the Yankees at least have the option of using Joba to fill one of the two vacancies that we have next season. Too many scenarios could play out between now and the 2010-2011 Hot Stove season, but are the Yankees going to spend big money on Jeter, Mo, Jayson Werth, Cliff Lee AND another starting pitcher? Considering the FO’s desire to gradually lower payroll, my guess is ‘no’. Now, like I said, we don’t know sh*t right now, but we can speculate enough to know that trading Joba would not be a good idea – unless we got a legitimately sick starter in return of course.

    • The Bif City of Dreams

      “but are the Yankees going to spend big money on Jeter, Mo, Jayson Werth, Cliff Lee AND another starting pitcher?”

      thats the thing there is so much that the yankees have to do I find it really hard to believe that they are going to resign mo and jeter to contracts equal to, higher, or lower than what they make now and then turn around and fill two holes in the rotation. Does that mean joba is a definite to be in the rotation? No, but ppl can not just completely dismiss it

  7. oldpep

    No.

  8. The Bif City of Dreams

    As far as I’m concerned this kinda stuff goes in cycles. 2 yrs ago everyone was down on hughes and no one wanted to trade joba. Now everyone is down on joba and no one wants to trade hughes.

  9. Don W

    Yes! Selling low is always the best strategy!

    Is it really out of the realm of possibility that, due to injury, that Joba is a productive member of the rotation by the end of the season? His arm injury in 2008 obviously has sapped some of the power from his FB but I would expect that the velocity will eventually return. Trading him now would be a classic Buhner/Leiter move, especially when it’s just wild speculation with no idea what would be offered in exchange.

    Your impatience with a still quite young pitcher is classic Yankee fan unwillingness to wait for players to develop. If they’re not stars 2 weeks after their debut they’re worthless never-will-be’s. Young pitcher’s have setbacks, some recover and some don’t. It’s the price of the develop game but it’s well worth the price to watch the Jeter’s, Mo’s and Posada’s hoist trophies.

    • Matt Imbrogno

      I think Chris’s point–and what my point was the other day–is that if the Yankees aren’t going to put him back in the rotation, they may be better served trading him. I hope it doesn’t have to come to that, but it’s an avenue that could be explored.

  10. The Bif City of Dreams

    Yes!Selling low is always the best strategy!
    Is it really out of the realm of possibility that, due to injury, that Joba is a productive member of the rotation by the end of the season?His arm injury in 2008 obviously has sapped some of the power from his FB but I would expect that the velocity will eventually return.Trading him now would be a classic Buhner/Leiter move, especially when it’s just wild speculation with no idea what would be offered in exchange.
    Your impatience with a still quite young pitcher is classic Yankee fan unwillingness to wait for players to develop.If they’re not stars 2 weeks after their debut they’re worthless never-will-be’s.Young pitcher’s have setbacks, some recover and some don’t.It’s the price of the develop game but it’s well worth the price to watch the Jeter’s, Mo’s and Posada’s hoist trophies.

    “His arm injury in 2008 obviously has sapped some of the power from his FB but I would expect that the velocity will eventually return”

    You may be right his velocity could return. Of course everyone is different but verlander battled injuries, saw his velocity drop and it should in his 2008 season. 1 yr later he saw his velocity go back to normal. I think sometimes ppl forget that although a player might be ready to go after an injury it might take a few more months or yrs to get back to normal

  11. bg90027

    The most surprising and disappointing thing from Cashman’s interview with Michael Kay yesterday was his statement that he thinks that Joba’s diminished velocity post the August 2008 shoulder strain is permanent. I’ve been holding out hope that it might be fatigue related and would come back like Verlander’s did after his one down year. Cashman though said that he thought if it were going to come back, we would have seen it by now. Joba could be an above average starter with the stuff he has now but if you accept Cashman’s statement, I don’t think you can expect him to develop into an ace anymore which diminishes the risk of trading him.

    The argument to me for considering trading Joba is not just that the Yankees are underutilizing him but that he only has two cash-controlled years left after 2010. The pasage of each year greatly diminishes his value to both the Yankees and anyone else. I would at least field offers for him. I would also field offers for Hughes who may have significantly more trade value with the idea of starting Joba instead. If one of them isn’t traded, Joba should (and I would guess will) be given an opportunity to start in 2011. As has been said, I can’t see re-signing Mo and Jeter, and an outfielder and two starters.

  12. The Bif City of Dreams

    The most surprising and disappointing thing from Cashman’s interview with Michael Kay yesterday was his statement that he thinks that Joba’s diminished velocity post the August 2008 shoulder strain is permanent. I’ve been holding out hope that it might be fatigue related and would come back like Verlander’s did after his one down year.Cashman though said that he thought if it were going to come back, we would have seen it by now.Joba could be an above average starter with the stuff he has now but if you accept Cashman’s statement, I don’t think you can expect him to develop into an ace anymore which diminishes the risk of trading him.
    The argument to me for considering trading Joba is not just that the Yankees are underutilizing him but that he only has two cash-controlled years left after 2010.The pasage of each year greatlydiminishes his value to both the Yankees and anyone else. I would at least field offers for him.I would also field offers for Hughes who may have significantly more trade value with the idea of starting Joba instead.If one of them isn’t traded, Joba should (and I would guess will) be given an opportunity to start in 2011.As has been said, I can’t see re-signing Mo andJeter, and an outfielder and two starters.

    The thing about his velocity is it’s not an issue of why isn’t there it’s why isn’t it there all the time. Why were there games last yr when his velocity fluctuated. Thats the thing about joba ppl say one statement and then it becomes a fact. Do ppl mean to tell me the games when he threw hard last yr were not real. So what were they just inaccurate gun readings…I find that hard to believe.

    And you’re last statement about how the yanks will spend there money is a correct one. I’m sure ppl have noticed that in the past few months pitchers that were either at the end of this season or next have signed new deals. Now of course there are some guys left but every pitcher that gets extended takes one more name off the board

  13. bg90027

    I’ll grant you that his velocity was inconsistent. I think that’s probably at least somewhat true for most pitchers though. We just tend to obsess over Joba more. That said, I don’t think it’s a consistency issue and I can’t remember ever seeing him approach 2007-8 levels last year.
    Maybe I’m wrong and missed him dial it up in a game or two but I think you are probably not comparing apples to apples, starting vs. relieving, peak vs average, etc. I’m still hoping for a Verlander like rebound but I’m more pessemistic after Cashman’s comments.

    • The Bif City of Dreams

      I’ll grant you that his velocity was inconsistent.I think that’s probably at least somewhat true for most pitchers though.We just tend to obsess over Joba more.That said, I don’t think it’s a consistency issue and I can’t remember ever seeing him approach 2007-8 levels last year.
      Maybe I’m wrong and missed him dial it up in a game or two but I think you are probably not comparing apples to apples, starting vs. relieving, peak vs average, etc.I’m still hoping for a Verlander like rebound but I’m more pessemistic after Cashman’s comments.

      Did he hit 100 at all last yr no I can’t think of a time when he did but he did sit 95-98 throughout certain games and I can site them. The 12 strike out game against the sox, the game against the indians at the jake(if it’s still called that), the 3 games after the break, the game in Detroit after hughes pitched. Those were his best games of the yr. I might be missing 1 or 2 of them though. Then there were games when he was 93-96 such as his first game of the yr, the game against the twins at the stadium, the game in b more I think that was after or before the day that hughes pitched. He pitched well in those games. He didn’t dominate but he was good.

      So like you i’m hoping he does return to it. According to many fans one major problem he has right now is his mechanics are out of wack. Thats why I’m in favor of sending him down. I’ll try to find it on one of those blogs. I read it a few days ago.

  14. smurfy

    I think you guys ought to calm down and see what happens. If Joba does well out of the pen, the Yanks can still maximize him. Like Mike Axisa said in the RAB post and in Q&A with Moshe, Joba needs to figure out how to pitch again,how to use his stuff, and I’ll wager some velocity returns when his mind is clarified.

  15. -Leftylarry

    The time to trade a kid like Joba is when you don’t want to trade him and everyone wnans him.That’s of course when it takes balls.
    Now you might want to trade him but can’t get much in return.

  16. bornwithpinstripes

    Yes… joba swish miranda for markakis……nick would be dynamite in RF.. canon arm ,plays RF at the stadium great. great gap hitter and would hit 7 to 10 more HRs..a real baseball player

    • Matt Imbrogno

      This isn’t serious, right?

Comments are closed.