The Detroit Tigers announced today that they have re-signed Joba Chamberlain. The news broke just as Chamberlain arrived at the Tigers' spring training complex in Lakeland, Florida. Ken Rosenthal reported that the deal is only worth $1 million up front plus incentives. Chaimberlain struggled last year, going 2-5 in 69 relief appearances for the Tigers while posting a 3.57 ERA. It was his first full season since 2010, thanks to a string of injuries he suffered in his final few years with the New York Yankees.
Chaimberlain's regular season performance was nothing, however, compared to his meltdowns in the postseason. In games 1 and 2 of the ALDS, Chaimberlain faced a total of six batters, gave up five runs on three hits, and ended up with a whopping 108.00 ERA (not a typo). In game 2, he got the loss when he left the bases loaded for Joakim Soria, who promptly gave up a go-ahead double to Baltimore's Delmon Young. The double completed a rally from a 6-3 hole the Orioles had been at the top of the eighth inning and ended the last lead the Tigers would have in the series. Not that Joba needed any more shame - his reputation had already gotten so bad by that point that when he stepped to the mound in game 2, the fans at Camden Yards gave him a standing ovation.
Chaimberlain wasn't always a joke. He quickly rose to stardom as a New York Yankee in the late 2000s, helping spark the Yankees to a Wild Card berth as a September callup in 2007. He struggled in the ALDS, however, and Yankees lost to the Cleveland Indians in four games. In 2008, his first full year, he put together a 4-3 record with 2.60 ERA as a reliever and spot starter. In 2009, he was transitioned to a full time role in the starting rotation, but struggled there. He was demoted to the bullpen for New York's 2009 championship run, getting the win in game 4 of the World Series despite giving up a game-tying home run to the Phillies' Pedro Feliz.
Chaimberlain would stay in the bullpen for good after losing the fifth starter battle in Spring Training 2010. He was up and down for the next several years as he struggled at times and battled injuries. By the time he had joined the Tigers in 2014, he had gained so much weight that he was nicknamed "Joba the Hutt". Now, that name seems all the more appropriate as Chamberlain seeks to erase the memories of last season.
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Jake Wesley is now the only writer for MLB_NL_AL.com all of these articles are ether based on facts and pieces of his opinion.