Is Joba Chamberlain a Good Blue Jays Free Agent Target?

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Despite adding two arms via the old claim, Alex Anthopoulos cannot be content with the current bullpen situation. In fact, we know he isn’t. It has been the talk of the winter, or at least December. November had enough to talk about. Regardless, the bullpen is an area in need of improvement.

This is one way to do it:

Finding a diamond in the rough can be done through a waiver claim. I guess. More likely, though, what it gets you is an arm that is questionable to be on the team in 2 months when catcher and pitchers report to Spring Training. Or, it could provide you with some depth for the bullpen you are actually happy with. Rarely does an important piece come via the waiver claim.

Next: Could a Trade for Jeff Baker Add Depth for Blue Jays?

If the Blue Jays are going to solve their bullpen woes of 2014, they’ll have to do more than waiver claims. AA has said that he sees them improving the ‘pen via trade. We know that Dioner Navarro is on the block, but will not be given away for peanuts. Other than Navarro, there really aren’t any expendable pieces.

So, free agency may be the way to go. But, we also know that the Blue Jays may be reaching the end of their spending limit. It’s like going holiday shopping and finding you only have enough for stocking stuffers. So, who could the Blue Jays stuff their stocking with?

How about Joba Chamberlain? The former Yankee and Tiger is a free agent. His value may not be so high. He has had Tommy John surgery in 2011. In March of 2012, he suffered an ankle injury (open dislocation) while using a trampoline.

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  • He’s always battled to define his role on a pitching staff. The Yankees tried him as a starter but moved him to the bullpen to better use the velocity that he brings. Speaking of which, the velocity has decreased from 97.4mph in 2007 to a still respectable 93.4mph last season. The Tigers stuck with that plan in 2014.

    And, it wasn’t a bad year for the 6’2″ 250lb right hander. He went 2-5 in 63 innings (69 games) with a 3.57 ERA (3.16 FIP). He struck out 22.3% of batters. He gave up just 3 HR in all of 2014 reducing his HR/9 from 1.71 to 0.43 from the year before. He put up the lowest flyball percentage (23.7%) of his career last year too. He picked up 29 holds as well. His WPA (Win Probability Added) was 0.76 and was worth 0.8 WAR.

    Last off season, he signed with Detroit for $2.5M and was arguably a shrewd move. He made the Tigers look smart. There has been very little in the way of discussions surrounding Chamberlain thus far. It is for that reason it may be difficult to gauge the cost of adding Joba Chamberlain. But if he can be had for nearly the same AAV as last season on a 2 year deal, it is worth considering.

    So, what do you say? Do we bring him aboard? Have your say below.