Joba Chamberlain rumors: Braves, Giants interested in Yankees reliever

Victor Decolongon

Both Atlanta and San Francisco have sent a scout to watch Chamberlain pitch in the last week.

The Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants are rumored to have interest in acquiring Joba Chamberlain from the Yankees, report George A. King III and Dan Martin of the New York Daily News.

While the exact level of interest the pair of squads have in the righty reliever is unknown, both teams have sent a scout to watch Chamberlain throw in the last week. The Braves sent Jim Fregosi to watch Joba throw a scoreless inning in Baltimore last Friday, while Giants scout Lee Elder was in attendance for the right-hander's scoreless inning in Minnesota on Monday.

Chamberlain, 27, is in his final year of arbitration with the Yankees, and is not believed to be part of the club's future bullpen plans. While a series of injuries over the last four years have derailed Chamberlain's career -- he's no longer viewed as a premier pitcher -- he still boasts a fastball in the mid-90s and could be a solid addition to a bullpen that's short on power right-handers.

Chamberlain pitched well in relief at the beginning of the season, but has struggled since coming off the disabled list (oblique strain) in late May. The right-hander has allowed nine runs -- including four home runs -- in 11 innings since returning to the mound for the Yankees, bumping his ERA up to 5.75 in 20⅓ innings overall on the year.

Of the two teams, the Braves seem to have the least need for someone like Chamberlain. Atlanta's bullpen is already very righty-heavy with Anthony Varvaro, Jordan Walden, and Cory Gearrin in the 'pen -- not to mention Craig Kimbrel -- so where Joba would fit into the mix is unclear.

The Giants also have several solid (non-closer) right-handers in the 'pen, but two of them -- Santiago Casilla and Chad Gaudin -- are currently on the disabled list, which may put them on the market for a guy like Chamberlain. San Francisco also have former Yankees right-hander George Kontos in the bullpen, but he's been unable to duplicate his 2012 success and currently holds a 5.45 earned run average.

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