Thursday, February 10, 2011
Plan D for the Yankees... destroy Joba's career some more
Plan A for the Yankees this off season evidently was "Sign Cliff Lee."
Their plan to do that was to assume he would buckle to the amount of money thrown at him. Evidently nobody in the Yankees front office ever spelled "Assume."
Plan B was to alienate as many beloved Yankees as possible. Derek Jeter was told to find a better deal. Jorge Posada was told to turn in his catchers gear. Mariano Rivera was compelled to call the Red Sox. Andy Pettitte said "to hell with THIS!"
Plan C was to pretend it was still 2005. Andruw Jones, Mark Prior, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon et al have all signed on. Now to build that Time Machine.
Now evidently there is Plan D... keep screwing around with Joba Chamberlain's already shaky psyche.
He's no longer a rookie. This is going to be his fifth season. You'd think 4 seasons would be enough to figure out his role. And according to reports he has shown up to camp looking heavy. Never a good sign.
So we enter the 4th annual "What will Joba's Role Be?" Spring Training extravaganza.
I've never understood this debate. He was a dominant reliever who the Yankees turned into a mediocre starter, an ineffective mop up man and in the 2010 postseason, an afterthought.
I've been saying this for years. I've compared him the Matthew McConaughey... very good at one specific thing but out of his element when you try to expand him.
I said last spring that the Yankees out of mercy should trade him.
But now the Yankees bizarre off season has thrown his role back into the spotlight. They had a thin rotation last October and now it is even thinner. (Although it is hard to describe anything that added Bartolo Colon as "thinner!")
And because Joba was not allowed to develop into a reliable reliever, the Yankees had to spend for Rafael Soriano.
There are three (and possibly four) holes in the Yankees rotation and the richest and most glamorous franchise in baseball couldn't fill the 4 or 5 spots with a major leaguer.
Of course Brian Cashman said that Joba's role is secure and he is a reliever. Then again he ALSO said that they weren't going to lose their draft pick on any deal other than Cliff Lee... so we all see how much leverage HE has these days.
Don't put MORE weight on Joba. Don't punish him because the Yankees wet the bed this off season.
With Rivera and Soriano in the bullpen, the Yankees have to make a trade. Even if it is for a prospect or a role player. Joba is still young enough to have a decent career but not if he stays in New York.
Either that or just go all the way and never tell Joba what his role is.
Don't even tell him which days he is going to start.
How could that be any worse than how they've handled his career so far?