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Cashman: Joba 'Not A Lock' To Make Yankees' Roster

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) -- With pitchers and catchers set to report in Tampa, Yankees general manager dropped a bomb on relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain.

According to Cashman, New York's fiery righty isn't guaranteed to make the 2011 roster.

"Anybody who has [minor league] options is not a lock for anything," Cashman told the Post on Sunday. "Any player with options has to re-earn everything. You earn more or you earn less — New York or Scranton."

Cashman said the right-hander, who's bounced between roles since joining the club in late 2007, will stay a reliever -- if he makes the team.

"I fully expect Joba to be in our bullpen," said Cashman. "If not, he would have worked his way out of it."

Chamberlain lost a competition for the fifth starter spot at spring training last year to Phil Hughes, one season after going 9-6 in 32 games, including 31 starts.

In 73 relief appearances in 2010, Chamberlain was 3-4 with three saves and a 4.40 ERA.

"We won't decide, he will decide his role," Cashman said. "Players always dictate [by their performances]."

Fans and analysts alike have speculated that Joba could wind up as trade-bait.

"He still has value," an AL talent scout told the Post. "It will be interesting to see how the Yankees pitch him in spring-training games and who from other teams is there only to see him."

With the retirement of Andy Pettitte and the Yankees' rotation lacking depth, Chamberlain is not surprised that the bullpen-trade speculation has resurfaced.

"I don't know if that debate is ever going to stop," Chamberlain said last week. "I guess you take it with a grain of salt. If that comes up in the future, then I'll answer that question. Right now you can't think about it."

What should the Yankees do with Joba? Start him? Trade him? Send him packing to Scranton? Sound off in the comments below!

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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