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Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Trade Watch 2011: Joba Chamberlain

By Andrew Marchand

With it probably a question of when instead of if the Yankees are going to make a deal for a starting pitcher, we are going to try to keep a close eye on all possibilities until they make a big deal. So, with the Weather Channel fresh in our head, let's continue Trade Watch 2011.

The Candidate: Joba Chamberlain

Why the buzz?: It's Joba so there is always buzz. But now, it is starting to wear off so the question is: Do you think at this time next year Joba will still be a Yankee? My prediction would be no.

Chamberlain has been diminished since he arrived in 2007. It was nearly impossible to be better than he was that summer when he owned New York and was the difference in the Yankees making the playoffs. Ever since then, there have been some ups, but it has been a see-saw.

It is hard to imagine he will be a vital Yankee again. The Yankees don't view him as a starter anymore, despite the fact he is just 25 and owns a 12-7 record with a 4.18 ERA as a starter in his career. They say his stuff fades as a starter.

Though there may be something else they know and aren't saying, we still think we would try Joba as a starter one more time. If the Yankees get 12-7 with a 4.18 ERA out of the No. 5 spot, they would be thrilled. But it isn't happening so no use to keep talking about it.

What is worth talking about is that it is hard to imagine Joba pitching important innings for the Yankees any time soon. If all goes right, Rafael Soriano-Mariano Rivera will handle the eighth and ninth the next two years and then in 2013, Soriano could be the closer.

So Joba could be the eighth inning guy by then? Of course, there could be an injury or ineffectiveness that could thrust Chamberlain into relevance. Still, it seems his best attribute is as a trade chip and the Yankees, it would seem to me, are willing to cut bait.

The Question:Is it time to trade Joba? (Weigh in below)