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Report: Rangers looking at Joba Chamberlain

3/13/2013

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers were scouting New York Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain earlier this week, according to a story in Wednesday's New York Post.

The Post's report said that Don Welke, a senior special assistant to president of baseball operations/general manager Jon Daniels, was at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., specifically to watch the Yankees' enigmatic right-hander against St. Louis on Monday. Chamberlain threw a scoreless inning.

Chamberlain has started and come out of the bullpen during his inconsistent six-year MLB career. He has also battled injury problems, including Tommy John surgery in 2011 and famously severely injuring his right leg while bouncing on a trampoline last March.

A baseball official with knowledge of the Rangers' thinking told Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com that the Rangers have had "mild interest" in Chamberlain and still think that he's got a good arm.

As a starter, the 27-year-old owns a 12-7 record with a 4.18 ERA. In 221 2/3 innings, he struck out 206 and walked 101. Chamberlain has enjoyed more success as a reliever, where in 172 career appearances in various roles he has a 3.18 ERA while striking out 202 batters in 181 innings.

Chamberlain was a heralded prospect when he was coming up in the Yankees organization and was pegged for stardom. He hasn't fulfilled those expectations but still teases with flashes of the talent that gives hope he can still enjoy consistent success in the major leagues.

The Yankees lost Rafael Soriano and his 42 saves to free agency during the offseason but expect full seasons from Mariano Rivera, who is returning from knee surgery, and David Aardsma, who played in just one game in 2012 because of injury.