Via George King –
Sensing the Yankees might have bullpen depth, the Rangers are following Joba Chamberlain.
Don Welke, a senior special assistant to Texas general manager Jon Daniels, was at Steinbrenner Field on Monday specifically to watch Chamberlain pitch an inning against St. Louis.
Chamberlain gave up a hit but not a run. Nor did he walk or strike out a batter. His fastball was clocked at 92-95 mph.
In five spring outings, Chamberlain has thrown five innings, given up four hits, walked two and whiffed three.
The only poor outing came March 1 against the Phillies at home when Chamberlain gave up two runs, two hits and walked two. It was his first appearance since Feb. 26, when after a scoreless inning in Clearwater in which he allowed a hit and fanned two, Chamberlain talked openly about being a starter or closer.
Manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman were not thrilled when they heard those remarks.
A healthy Chamberlain would deepen the Yankees’ bullpen, but they have options in David Aardsma and Shawn Kelley to use in front of setup man David Robertson.
I cannot imagine that the Rangers would make the trip if they didn’t already talk to the Yankees about Chamberlain being available. I just hope this is not a swap for Nelson Cruz.