On Wednesday, while Detroit Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski was denying almost every rumor involving his team, he confirmed they were looking to add one more bullpen arm. But that player would not be a top-tier reliever.
In spite of a beyond mediocre 4.93 ERA in 42 innings over 45 appearances in 2013, the not top-tier arm was going to be Joba Chamberlain, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.
The Tigers have serious interest in signing Joba Chamberlain.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 12, 2013
The Tigers have quickly moved on from having serious interest to inking the 28-year-old free agent right-hander to a contract. Ken Rosenthal is reporting Chamberlain is now a member of the Detroit Tigers' bullpen.
Sources: #Tigers to sign Joba Chamberlain.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 12, 2013
You would have believed Chamberlain is a relatively low risk, high reward acquisition, available on an inexpensive deal. The inexpensive part of the equation seems to have gone out the window.
Despite his injury history and declining numbers (A WHIP of 1.5 and 1.7 the last two seasons), Olney also reported the Arizona Diamondbacks had a one-year deal in the $3 million range on the table for Chamberlain. Turns out Chamberlain did not come at much of a discount. Olney has confirmed the Tigers singed Chamberlain for one-year at $2.5 million, with undisclosed performance bonuses.
When the price tag is added to the equation, Chamberlain has gone from a reliever worth taking a flyer to a far more risky signing who likely won't be worth the money it took to lock him down.
Now that I saw that $3 million figure on Joba all I can say is RUN THE OTHER WAY RUN RUN RUN RUNNNN— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) December 12, 2013
Pitching coach Jeff Jones has his first project of the spring. Fixing Joba Chamberlain.