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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Cubs - Signed Lieber
Chicago Cubs - Signed P Jon Lieber to a 1-year, $3.5 million contract.
Not a bad risk really. Lieber’s health might mean that if the Cubs want Lieber to win 20 games for them again, they should have signed him to a 3-year contract, but since his sophomore swingman season for the Bucs, Lieber’s yet to put up a season in which he’s clearly below average for a starter, the lowest ERA+ being a 95 in ‘06 (starting pitchers usually combine for an ERA+ around 96). This solidifies a Zambrano/Lilly/Marquis/Hill/Lieber rotation as long as everyone’s healthy, which has the side effect of pushing Gallagher and Marshall out of town, probably for Brian Roberts, fairly quickly. This also might mean the end of the Dempster-to-start experiment, an idea so puzzling that you would think Jim Hendry went for it because Frodo Baggins told him to do it in a dream or another owner he dislikes in his fantasy league wants Dempster to get some saves next season.
Lieber should give the Cubs what they want from him. A 5th starter who’s more dependable than most 5th starters at winning games but an injury risk and who can throw some mopup innings in the playoffs if Bad Zambrano shows up.
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