NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Texas Rangers wanted to get a firsthand look at Joba Chamberlain, recently dispatching a special assistant to the general manager “specifically to watch” the Yankees reliever in action, according to the New York Post.
The Rangers are “(s)ensing the Yankees might have bullpen depth” to draw from in a potential trade, the Post reported.
Chamberlain allowed one hit in one inning of work on Monday with Rangers scout Don Welke reportedly in attendance.
The 27-year-old has given up two earned runs, four hits and two walks in five innings this spring, holding batters to a .211 average with three strikeouts.
Chamberlain recently reopened the is-he-a-starter-or-is-he-a-reliever can of worms — Joba Rules, anyone? — when he said he still has the stuff to be in the Yankees rotation.
“This is probably going to spark a bunch of stuff, and (Yankees PR director Jason) Zillo is going to be mad at me, but it’s one of those things where it’s like, do you think you have the capability to start? Yes,” he told the New York Daily News in late Feb. “Do I have four pitches that I can throw for a strike? Yes. Do I have two-plus pitches in the bullpen that I can throw at any time? Yes.”
“I guess I’m trying to have my cake and eat it, too,” he added. ”I feel like I’m good enough to do both. I’ve proven that I can do both. Whatever it is, if I close, I want to be one or the other. I’ve been in the role of in the bullpen for a while, but am I confident that if I got the chance to start again somewhere — wherever that’s at — I could do it? Without a doubt.”
The right-hander, limited due to injuries in recent years, has appeared in 122 games for the Yankees since the start of the 2010 season, all in relief.
Yankees fans — what would you want in return for Joba? Be heard in the comments…