We’re all thinking it, so I’m going to say it

No interest in C.J. Wilson.

No interest in Hiroki Kuroda.

No interest in Roy Oswalt.

No (apparent) interest in Edwin Jackson.

No good deals out there on the trade market, and John Danks just signed an extension to keep him with the White Sox.

So where should the Yankees look to improve the rotation?

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I have absolutely no faith in this happening. At all. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a worthwhile strategy. I will, however, point out the flaws first. Joba Chamberlain will obviously be coming off of Tommy John Surgery and his control probably won’t be all there and there might be some tough innings to sit through. It’s also worth acknowledging that in his immediately-post-TJS, Joba may not be a huge upgrade over what the Yankees have now.

But, there are plenty of reasons to do this. First, coming off the injury, they’re basically starting from scratch. They can use the rehab time to rebuild Joba’s arm strength to get him back up to starting shape. Second, he’s still young enough and potential-laden enough that he could turn into something better than what the Yankees have. Third, and potentially most importantly, he is just more insurance in case A.J. Burnett is still A.J. Burnett and/or Phil Hughes doesn’t right himself or gets injured again. We should also note that Joba’s youth and recent lack of starting experience will help keep his costs down during arbitration and on the off chance he does return to starting and performs well, he’ll be a cheap rotation option going forward.

I’m seriously grasping at anything I can over here, considering the complete lack of movement for pitching on the Yankees’ part. Is this likely to happen? Not in the least. Do I care? Not that much. It’s a long shot to happen, but it should definitely be considered.

About Matt Imbrogno

A native and resident of the Mean Streets of Southwestern Connecticut, Matt is a narcissistic, misanthropic 20something English teacher who lives by a simple creed: Yankees Only.

22 thoughts on “We’re all thinking it, so I’m going to say it

  1. I’ve felt for some time that Joba is worth another shot as a starter. His stats as a starter were actually pretty good – they just didn’t measure up to his early results and our expectations. I would rank him (and virtually anyone else) above A J. Beyond that, we have the youngsters (Noesi should be #4 or #5; Warren, Phelps & Mitchell look ready to contribute; and then of course there is Manban and Bettances – either one of which could break out this season. the fact that every potential trade partner wants one or more of these guys says it all.

  2. Damn you to hell. That’s worse than getting geeked-up over Darvish. Joba as starter is the fan’s white whale (and a hungry one at that). I would love to see them give him another shot, but it’s never, ever going to happen, so it’s just cruel to even bring it up.

  3. It’s obvious they are looking internally, and they are not gambling on an expensive free agent. CC, Nova, Hughes, Garcia, AJ and then Noesi waiting in the wings. All eyes are on next year’s free agent class.

    • I highly doubt the Yankees are putting all their eggs in the “next year’s free agent class” basket. If they are I think that would be a huge mistake, as I highly doubt Danks is the last one to sign an extension from that list. If Cain, Grienk, and Hamels all sign extensions on their current teams, and/or get traded and then sign extensions that “vaunted class” is going to look a lot less impressive. As the then 31 Shawn Marcum may very well be the best name left on the board, with Francisco Liriano and Anibal Sanchez being the only names worth mentioning after that.

      This idea that the 2013 free agent class will save us all is a fleeting dream in my opinion. It simply relies on teams not doing what they’ve been doing more and more of in the last few years, extending or moving young pitchers to get extended before free agency.

    • I’m with M.J. on this. The Joba-as-starter ship has sailed, with no return voyage so long as it flies the pinstriped colors.

  4. I’ve given up on Joba. Hell, I’ve given up on Phil Hughes. Sooner or later everyone will be a middle reliever. Its the Yankee way.

  5. Anytime somebody brings up Joba as a starter it makes me upset at the organization. He deserves a shot, and if nobody believes that please look at that start in ’08 (I believe) against Beckett at Fenway.

    • You’re basing his starting ability on one start?? Then why not try to get Brandon Morrow from the Blue Jays because of his 2010 start against the Yankees?? One start doesnt make a pitcher…

  6. Why not at this point. The bullpen is solid, and Joba is starting to get pricier with arbitration. Plus he has to build himself back up now, and he has virtually no expectations to meet. What’s the worse that can happen? He’s a likely non-tender after this year anyways. Get the most value we can for him, and he either sticks, we release him or find a way to deal him. I’m all for it.

  7. I love the idea, but can we please use some of the Yankee’s financial might to go hire away whomever does pitcher development for the Rangers (and Rays) to run our pitcher development first?

  8. Doubtful. That story is old anyways. If anything I’d think he’d spend more time at the office working to stay away from the wife.

  9. I don’t care what anybody says, bringing back Joba as a starting pitcher just makes too much sense.

    This year’s FA class isn’t going to bring any upgrades. Next year’s class – despite all the hype – will likely bear little, if any, fruit and the trade prices are ridiculous. Even if Joba ends up being a No. 3, it beats paying Edwin Jackson (who I do actually like) whatever salary Boras negotiates.

    Besides, the Yankees bullpen is too damn crowded anyway.

    • From your computer to Cashman’s ears… but we all know it isn’t happening. Joba won’t see a rotation spot again, until he eventually leaves in free agency.

  10. I don’t see what the alleged breakup of his marriage would have to do with two months’ worth of inactivity in free agency. People can compartmentalize, after all.

  11. I look back wistfully at the dream of Joba the top of the rotation starter, but I think the Yankee decision went far beyond the debates that went on in various websites. Everyone knows starters are more valuable, but some skill sets work better in the bullpen where you only have to go through a lineup once, if that.

    Joba’s fastball command was always shaky. He dominated as a reliever and in his first year as a starter based on raw stuff. But when his stuff was down after the shoulder injury, they shifted him to the bullpen in an effort to get his stuff to play up, which it did. There are other issues at play as well. His weight has always been a concern going back to his days in college, so they probably thought you could milk a longer career out of him as a reliever than they would as a starter, since he’s not exactly a gym rat. Joba also seemed to embrace the role of future closer, loving the rock star attention and late inning heroics. We don’t know what happened in those conversations, but Joba may have let it be known he wanted to be in the bullpen.

    As others have said, I’m hoping the Yanks keep an open mind. If he shows up in camp in great shape, throwing the ball 95+ in ST, then I hope the Yanks will take a fresh look at where he’s at and reconsider his role. But that has to happen first, you can’t force these things.

  12. I haven’t read all the whin’, but I’ll suggest Brett, my favorite glove man, though hasn’t figured out leadoff, for Crawford.

    • your question is: do you want to risk it/ is Brett’s determination which will likely take him to 370 OBP, or select Crawford’s 30 – 40 doubles? Boston could declare payroll, or it could be relieved in hope for what you have done.