Detroit has been looking to add bullpen depth all winter, and did so on Tuesday. According to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the Tigers have re-signed Joba Chamberlain to a one-year, major league contract that will pay him a base salary of $1 million and includes another $500K in potential incentives.Chamberlain, who also was linked to the Dodgers this offseason, was spotted in Tigers camp on Tuesday morning.
Chamberlain, 29, posted a 3.57 ERA and 3.16 FIP in 63.0 innings pitched with the Tigers in 2014. Before he signed a deal with Detroit last offseason, he spent his seven previous seven major league seasons with the Yankees. Chamberlain's best season came in 2008, when he posted a 2.60 ERA and 2.65 FIP in 100.1 innings pitched with New York.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told The Detroit Free Press' Anthony Fenech that he feels much better about the club's bullpen situation heading into 2015, and Chamberlain reportedly has expressed interest in returning to the Tigers since the end of the season.
Although the club was hoping to resign Chamberlain, the Tigers may have less competition for bullpen spots after signing him. Joe Nathan, Joakim Soria, Bruce Rondon, Al Alburquerque, and Chamberlain are all expected to serve as Detroit's right-handed relief options in 2015. Alex Wilson and Josh Zeid could have been the team's fifth right-hander, however unless the Tigers opt to start the season with one lefty, there is a chance neither Wilson nor Zeid make the team.
Rondon is returning from Tommy John surgery and the Tigers are confident he will be healthy and serve as a setup man. Tom Gorzelanny may be the team's long reliever, which would mean Ian Krol will be the Tigers' primary left-handed relief option.
M Live's Chris Iott notes signing Chamberlain gives the Tigers notable bullpen depth at a low cost. In order to make room for Chamberlain on the 40-man roster, Detroit designated reliever Chad Smith for assignment.