Joba Chamberlain was interviewed by Bill Eichenberger of the Sporting News last week and gave his thoughts about the Yankees off-season and his future with the team. Eichenberger does a great job interviewing one of the most popular Yankees today and touched on subjects such as the Joba Rules and his feelings on them (“As a competitor, I definitely got frustrated at times,”) the possibility of succeeding the Great Rivera one day as Yankee closer (“If that opportunity comes, great,”) and Joba’s take on the Yankees off-season moves(“I think we retooled great.”)
I like hearing Joba saying he’s open to being the next Yankee closer. I think that the fifth spot in the rotation is going to be a toss-up between Joba and Phil Hughes and if it goes to Hughes, perhaps Joba should be groomed as the successor to Mariano Rivera. Rivera’s contract ends this year, but he legitimately has at least two years left at the top of his game and possibly more.
Could Joba be the closer in 3 years? Is it worth it to keep him waiting that long? Those are hard questions to answer but I would say that both Chamberlain’s and Hughes’ futures depend massively on how the next two months of spring training go.
Check out the interview in its entirety here.