Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Blast from the past

Jon Lieber had his most success in the big leagues when he was with the Cubs. Now the Cubs and Lieber will try to relive some of that success. Lieber has joined the Cubs and will pitch in the backend of the Cubs rotation in 2008.'s Ken Rosenthal fills in all of the blanks...

Lieber, who turns 38 on April 2, was the last Cub to win 20 games, going 20-6 in 2001. He spent the past three seasons with the Phillies, but missed the second half of last season after suffering a ruptured tendon in his right foot.

The signing of Lieber could signal a trade of right-hander Jason Marquis or the return of righty Ryan Dempster to the bullpen.

Another possibility is that the Cubs are trying to build rotation depth in the event that they trade younger starters such as right-hander Sean Gallagher and/or lefty Sean Marshall, possibly in a deal for Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts.

Lieber will be in the Cubs' rotation, according to a source; without that understanding, he would have signed with another club. He was offered more money by other teams, but wanted to return to the Cubs.

Interesting that he has been guaranteed the fifth slot in the rotation.

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