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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  • RVIMPENY: It's raining today so the Cubs will probably play intrasquad game(s) tomorrow and/or Saturday, but it's pretty much a day-to-day proposition, and a lot of times it's decided at the last minute.

    Best bet is to check in at Riverview in the morning and ask somebody what's going on that day.

    Arizona Phil 14 min 28 sec ago view
  • Thanks Phil, I had the Salt River chart, but based on that, it looks like they hardly play and was not on the Surprise on 9/28...I assume they do not really want fans there anyway? Do you know if they play today, Friday or Sat? Sorry to be a pain, but I am only here until Sunday.

    rvimpeny 27 min 18 sec ago view
  • John Arguello at Cubs Den with observations & photos from Tuesday's Cubs instructs intrasquad game:

    link

    Arizona Phil 36 min 48 sec ago view
  • jacos 1 hour 29 min ago view
  • Bear fans are so impatient! They signed that great All-American QB out of Columbia--Luckman--just a little while ago, didn't they? Now it's the Eagles' turn. After all, it's been almost ten years since McNabb.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 37 min ago view
  • Arizona Phil 1 hour 56 min ago view
  • " . . . when he signed Edwin Jackson?"

    He makes a lot of moves, people remember the ones that pan out. Kind of like MJ's approach to shooting. When it all shakes out, you get a formidable 25-man roster.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 4 min ago view
  • For the rookie hazing "dress up" day, the Mariners made him dress like the Farley Chippendales dancer.

    Tito 2 hours 17 min ago view
  • Steven Matz to undergo “imminent” elbow surgery.

    http://mlb.nbcsports.com/2016/09/27/steven-matz-to...

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 20 min ago view
  • Just scroll by.

    Tito 2 hours 30 min ago view
  • Pitchers are golfers

    Getting tired of the caddy catcher excuse

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs...

    jacos 4 hours 5 min ago view
  • Dan Vogelbach is working on his firstbase defense in Seattle. Seems to say the Cubs didn't teach him properly.

    http://www.thenewstribune.com/sports/mlb/seattle-m...

    QuietMan 10 hours 18 min ago view
  • Oh my! Cards down 2-1 to Reds in the bottom of the 9th -- get a leadoff triple -- and don't score!

    billybucks 13 hours 31 min ago view
  • Gameday has stopped at the top of the 8th inning. Google tells me it ended up 8-4 Pirates but I can't get further detail. Guess I'll have to wait until the Cubs' website updates...

    JoePepitone 14 hours 35 min ago view
  • Attaboy!

    billybucks 14 hours 50 min ago view
  • Phil, thanks for posting. Where do find the schedule? I have a condo in Surprise, yet I drove to Mesa and Tempe looking for a game today! Thanks!

    rvimpeny 14 hours 51 min ago view