Many have wondered if injuring himself on a trampoline is grounds to void Joba Chamberlain‘s contract. Certainly if Aaron Boone was cut loose for getting hurt in a simple basketball game, the Yankees must have options with Joba.
However, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has reported that the Yankees have stated both publicly and privately that they are not considering releasing him right now even though a few question if he’ll even be ready to start the 2013 season in time.
Joba had previously said that doctors told him that he could be back on a mound by July, but that seems overly optimistic. It is possible he can come back this year, but it also sounds like it is possible he will miss some time next year as well.
The problem is that he’s going to be rehabbing two injuries at the same time. One an injury to his elbow and this an injury to his push-off ankle. He’ll be in a cast for 2-3 months and a specialized boot for a little while after that. At that point things are going to be moving very slowly as he regains strength in the ankle while also trying to knock off the rust in the arm. Even without any major setbacks that is going to take some time.
If the Yankees aren’t planning on releasing him now that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s out of the woods. Instead they might just be giving him time to rehab, they’ll pay the $1.675 million he is owed this season, and see how much he progresses by the end of the season. If he seems on track to be healthy in 2013 then they’ll can sign him to another contract. But if he still is questionable to start next season then he becomes a non-tender candidate.
That’s almost a year from now though. In the meantime, it is good that Joba is not going anywhere. He was by all accounts doing a great job with his TJS rehab so maybe he’ll take rehab from this seriously and come back strong next year.