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Would Joba Chamberlain Have Replaced Mo Rivera as Yankee Closer?

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Would Joba Chamberlain Have Replaced Mo Rivera as Yankee Closer?
Al Bello/Getty Images
Even before he injured himself on a trampoline Joba Chamberlain was recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Yankee fans may be happy to hear that Mariano Rivera plans to return from his torn ACL even though he is 42 years old and already the best reliever of all time.

David Robertson and Rafael Soriano are expected to handle the closer's role, but it is interesting to speculate whether Joba Chamberlain would have have been the closer-of-choice during the second half of the 2012 season if he hadn't fractured his ankle jumping on a trampoline during spring training.

Until the unfortunate accident that has cost Chamberlain any chance of coming back this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Yankees had decided to throw out the Joba Rules and put the hard-throwing right-hander back in the bullpen.

If Chamberlain does return next season and if Rivera's comeback plans are derailed, there may be plenty of internal competition for the closer job.

And because it's the Yankees, you can't rule out a trade or free-agent signing to acquire Mo's eventual heir.

This being a presidential election year, let's look at the candidates for Yankee closer in 2013.

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