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Brewers release veteran reliever Chamberlain

Right-hander had a 3.38 ERA over eight Cactus League appearances
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

PHOENIX -- Joba Chamberlain has experienced most everything baseball has to offer, from winning the World Series as a Yankees phenom to being released last year by the Indians. But Wednesday brought a new one: The Brewers cut the veteran right-hander from a Minor League deal and made Chamberlain a surprise free agent 11 days before the first game of the 2017 regular season.

"I've never gone through this before, so just add this to another chapter of the whole thing," Chamberlain said after packing up his locker at Maryvale Baseball Park. "Obviously this is going on a lot right about now, so I'll weigh the options and go from there."

PHOENIX -- Joba Chamberlain has experienced most everything baseball has to offer, from winning the World Series as a Yankees phenom to being released last year by the Indians. But Wednesday brought a new one: The Brewers cut the veteran right-hander from a Minor League deal and made Chamberlain a surprise free agent 11 days before the first game of the 2017 regular season.

"I've never gone through this before, so just add this to another chapter of the whole thing," Chamberlain said after packing up his locker at Maryvale Baseball Park. "Obviously this is going on a lot right about now, so I'll weigh the options and go from there."

Chamberlain had mixed results in eight Spring Training appearances for the Brewers. He limited opponents to three runs over eight innings for a 3.38 ERA, but he walked five batters versus two strikeouts.

• Brewers Spring Training: Schedule | Information | Gear

Chamberlain was one of five relief candidates released or reassigned on Wednesday, as the Brewers move closer to setting an Opening Day bullpen. Seventeen pitchers remain in the running for 12 or 13 spots.

"Generally our philosophy, especially with veteran-type players, when we come to a decision, we inform them of the decision as soon as we possibly can," Brewers general manager David Stearns said. "It's out of respect for what they've done in their careers and gives them a chance to reassess how they are going to enter this season."

"I think he pitched well," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "It's really we felt the other guys were ahead of him."

Chamberlain, 31, would have made $1.375 million plus incentives had he made the Brewers' Opening Day roster.

"Obviously we're working on stuff in the spring. I felt like I accomplished the things we were working on, but obviously they didn't see fit," Chamberlain said. "It's part of the game, and you understand that, wish them the best of luck and you move on from there.

"There's still time left in Spring Training. Obviously I've been healthy, I feel great, feel good with my stuff. There's a place out there somewhere, so we'll see what happens and go from there."

Chamberlain said he planned to keep tabs on the Brewers, even though he gave up his uniform on Wednesday.

"You understand there's a lot of young guys in here trying to prove some things," he said. "[I was] just trying to come in and provide leadership in a lot of ways, and you know what? I hope that in those few weeks these guys learned something in how you go about it and just to have fun and enjoy it. It doesn't last forever."

Before departing he added, "I wish them all the luck, and obviously if I latch on with a team, we'll see what happens. I hope we play them."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Milwaukee Brewers, Joba Chamberlain