Cubs Sign Lieber; Jason Bere And Kevin Tapani Consider Comebacks

What Ken Rosenthal reported earlier this morning, cubs.com is now confirming:

The Cubs have signed righthander Jon Lieber to a one-year, $3.5 million deal. Lieber pitched for the Cubs from 1999 through 2002. In 2001, his best Major League season, he went 20-6, 3.80 and finished fourth in Cy Young voting.

He suffered an elbow injury in '02, underwent ligament replacement surgery and was picked up by the Yanks, for whom he won 14 games in 2004.

He signed with the Phillies as a free agent in December '04 and went 29-30 in three seasons there. He suffered a pair of significant injuries in Philadelphia, including a ruptured tendon in his foot that ended his '07 season in mid-June.

What Rosenthal reported that cubs.com has not yet (and probably won't) is that Lieber has been promised a spot in the starting rotation; that he was offered more money by other teams, with whom he would have signed had it not been for his desire to return to Chicago and some assurance that he would have a spot in the Cubs rotation.

Rob G: Lieber, the last Cubs pitcher to win 20 games, will add some rotation depth and give Hendry a little more flexibility in trading from the teams' pool of starting pitchers. It could mean the end of Jason Marquis or Ryan Dempster as a Cub, or it could just mean some of the youngsters might be on their way out and the Cubs needed to restock the shelves. Or maybe the Cubs realize that going into the season with Dempster and Marquis in your rotation means being sure you have an appropriate back-up plan.

About to turn 38, Lieber is a fast-working pitcher known for his excellent control who once possessed a lethal slider that now has lost some of its bite. He'll rely on his defense quite a bit; good for him and the Cubs that the folks chasing balls behind him this year should be pretty good. His home run rates did skyrocket the last 2 full seasons in Philadelphia, although it's hard to to decipher how much of that is due to the hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park and how much is due to the natural regression of a player as he ages.

This does seem like its step one of a multi-step plan. Dempster or Marquis could certainly just be shifted to the pen if needed as swing men, but it seems more likely that one of them is on the way out. Between Lieber, Dempster and Marquis, you'd have a hard time differentiating their overall value to the club, so until one of them gets moved in a trade or to the bullpen, I'm just going to refer to them as LDM from here on out.

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  • "Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Friday that Anthony Rizzo (back) is feeling better and it's "possible" the first baseman could return to the lineup Saturday."

    crunch 5 min 43 sec ago view
  • Maddon shore isn't afraid to bat a rookie 4th in the order.

    Old and Blue 1 hour 21 min ago view
  • how many pairs of dice did dusty leave hidden around the park when he left the cubs?

    crunch 2 hours 16 min ago view
  • Line-up shakeup, going all-2015 with pitcher batting 8th, Bryant 2nd

    J-Hey, Bryant 1B, Zobrist, Willson, Coghlan, Baez 3B, Russell, Hendricks, Almora

    Eric S 2 hours 40 min ago view
  • The Cubs are currently down Schwarber, Fowler, Soler, and Rizzo and Montero appear to be day-to-day. Maybe not surprising that they are struggling a bit as they rely more than expected on Baez, Russell, Almora, Contreras, and Szczur to provide offensive value.

    Charlie 5 hours 19 min ago view
  • Joe: "I loved the way we brought it today, man. We'll take this every night and win a lot of ballgames like that. Losing 4 in a row...that's nothin'."

    The E-Man 19 hours 54 min ago view
  • 9 runs in 4 games. Zobrist slumping. Russell having a tough time. Almora not a contact guy. They miss Fowler big time.

    Bring the A-Team back.

    The E-Man 19 hours 58 min ago view
  • poop.

    4 losses in a row for the 1st time this season.

    crunch 20 hours 5 min ago view
  • DRAMA!

    crunch 20 hours 10 min ago view
  • RIP 2016 cubs.

    i'll never forget clayton richard throwing that 1 inning that didn't suck.

    see you guys next season.

    crunch 20 hours 16 min ago view
  • Yeesh. Shut down innings a thing of the past for the Cubbies

    Not the best of nights for Russell - should of nailed Stanton at second on Ross's throw but mishandles it ... so of course Stanton comes around and scores as well

    Eric S 20 hours 19 min ago view
  • Guys, I've decided to focus on the first awesome two and a half months instead of this disastrous end to the season. Remember Arrieta's no-no, Contreras's first-ever-pitch HR, all the amazing defensive gems by Baez?

    We'll get 'em next year!

    Brick 20 hours 19 min ago view
  • David Fuckin Ross!!!

    That Baez almost-out defensive play was bonkers.

    Rob G. 20 hours 49 min ago view
  • 1- brilliant
    2- if miami was a team with decent runners i'd be more scared...or if they get guys on 1st and 2nd with less than 2 outs
    3- yes...he could use a roid re-up

    wow...miami's running game is even weaker than i thought. stolen bases is a lazy way to gauge running quality, but tonight's lineup has 7 SBs on the year and it's only 2 guys. they have 19 total SB and 6 of those are d.gordon...and 6 are ichiro. only 4 guys on the roster all season have successfully stolen a base and 1 is suspended.

    crunch 22 hours 16 min ago view
  • Just brainstorming:
    1) If Cubs are going to play a catcher at 1B, why not just gear him up and call it second home plate and see if they can trick Lester into throwing there every now and again.
    2) Between Lester on the mound, and a catcher at 1B, bunting might be lucrative for the Marlins.
    3) Barry Bonds looks deflated. I mean physically.

    Jackstraw 22 hours 32 min ago view
  • Smokies lineup sure could use the help. Promotions of Candalario and Zagunis to Iowa crippled the offense - McKinney's continued power outage not helping things.

    Eric S 22 hours 34 min ago view