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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

REPORTS: Tigers sign reliever Joba Chamberlain to one-year, incentive-laden deal

Signing a closer alone was not going to “fix” the Detroit Tigers’ bullpen woes.

They still needed more depth in the relief corps, after signing Joe Nathan last week, and to that end, they took a flyer on a reclamation project in former New York Yankee fireballer Joba Chamberlain.

After a number of reports that the Tigers were in negotiations with the burly right-hander, sources for Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal made it more definitive, saying the Tigers were going to sign the 28-year-old.

ESPN’s Buster Olney reported it was a one-year deal worth $2.5 million, plus performance bonuses.

Used both as a starter (2008-09) and a back-end reliever in his seven seasons with the Yankees, Chamberlain has a 4.50 ERA and a WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) of 1.470 since 2009. He posted an ERA of 4.93 and a WHIP of 1.738 — both career highs — in 45 games last season.

It’s likely that Chamberlain slots into the seventh-inning role with the Tigers, but if pitching coach Jeff Jones can tap into what’s always been assumed to be a vast potential, he could be more than that.

Bruce Rondon will be the team’s primary set-up man, while Ian Krol — acquired from the Washington Nationals in the Doug Fister trade — is expected to be the top bullpen lefty.


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