Last year, after he was released by the Cleveland Indians, Chamberlain used his newfound free time to spend quality time with his 10-year-old son Karter.
He called it “the best three months of my life.”
Chamberlain couldn’t keep himself out of baseball for very long, however. This week he signed a Minor League deal with the Brewers.
In 20 games for Cleveland last season, Chamberlain posted a respectable 2.25 ERA. He spent most of the season plagued with a strained left intercostal and was subsequently released in July.
Nobody picked him up and it ended up being a blessing in disguise.
"“I’m 31 years old and I’ve played this game for a long time,” Chamberlain said Tuesday. “My son is 10 years old and he means the world to me. I can always make more money, but I can’t make more time. It was probably the best three months of my life. I love the game of baseball but the time I got to spend with my son and the summer that I had, I can’t put a price tag on that. It gave me something to look forward to.”"
The Brewers are hoping that Chamberlain’s experience in meaningful games can take their bullpen to the next level.
"“He’s a guy with experience who’s pitched in championship-caliber games,” Brewers assistant general manager Matt Arnold said. “He’ll be a great resource for some of our younger guys, the [Corey] Knebels, the [Jacob] Barnes of the world, who we think are going to be really good pitchers for a long time.”"
Chamberlain was the Yankees’ first round Draft choice in 2006 but he has undergone a career plagued with injuries ever since. He has been dominant at certain times in his career when healthy, however.
"“The velocity was there last year for sure,” Arnold said, “and it’s always been there, going back to his days in college. He’s always been a flame thrower. I think this is a chance to bring a guy in and get him back to where he was a couple years ago, and be a dominant force in the bullpen.”"
Chamberlain is ready to make the most of his opportunity with the Brewers this season. He feels like he has something to prove this year.
"“I treat every Spring Training as a Minor League invite because every year we have to go out and prove something,” Chamberlain said. “Every year we have to make ourselves better, not only as a person but as a teammate. There’s no spot guaranteed. I’m going to go out and give it everything I’ve got every day.”"