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Tigers rumors: Detroit showing interest in Joba Chamberlain

In need of bullpen help, the Detroit Tigers are kicking the tires of former top Yankees prospect Joba Chamberlain.


From all accounts, the Detroit Tigers signing outfielder Rajai Davis to be part of a left field platoon is the final piece in their position player puzzle. Obviously, nothing is set in stone and things can quickly change. But as things stand after the arrival of Davis, the Tigers are set in the field.

But their statement doesn't mean the Tigers' roster is complete. There's work to do in regard to the bullpen. Which is where free agent reliever Joba Chamberlain enters the discussion.

Chamberlain was once considered a New York Yankees' wunderkind after throwing 24 innings over the final two months of the 2007 season, allowing just one earned run while averaging 12.8 K/9 as a 21-year-old.

After becoming the toast of New York, the Yankees moved Chamberlain to the rotation, which is where he spent most of 2008-09. But Chamberlain never lived up to his early promise, battling both injuries and ineffectiveness. The big right-hander was moved back into a bullpen setup role in 2010. A pair of serious injuries which helped to derail a once promising career; Chamberlain underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011 and suffered a dislocated ankle during an off season trampoline incident in 2012. Chamberlain threw only 49 1/3 innings between those two injury marred seasons.

Now 28 years of age and the bloom long off the rose, Chamberlain is coming off a worse than mediocre 2013, posting a 4.93 ERA in 42 innings over 45 appearances.

There is good reason why the Yankees allowed Chamberlain to move on. He just wasn't very good last season. But the Tigers need bullpen arms and Chamberlain has had success in the past, so there could be a match. Considering 2013 was a career worst season, Chamberlain could be a relatively inexpensive, low risk, high reward type of signing for any team willing to take a chance.