The right-hander returns to his old haunt where he won a career-high 20 games in 2001. Ken Rosenthal, who broke the story, says he’s been guaranteed a spot in Chicago's rotation.
Beerleaguer: The announcment is worthy of its own thread since Lieber was expected to anchor the Phillies' rotation for several seasons and it never happened. Although his three seasons in Philadelphia included a few bright spots, almost none of them came over past two. Reportedly not the hardest worker, the Phils had been trying to move him since the 2006 non-waiver trade deadline, but found no takers. Then, during the previous off-season, they reportedly had a deal in place with Milwaukee, but the Phils never pulled the trigger.
Stuck with six starters, the Phillies auditioned him in the bullpen, which immediately failed. When the team had enough of watching games go up in smoke late, they swapped out Brett Myers and slotted the unpopular right-hander back into the rotation. He was soon lost to season-ending surgery to repair a ruptured tendon in his foot.
For a short period between late April and early May, he pitched quite well, shades of his first season in Philly, when he went 17-13 with a 4.28 ERA in 218 1-3 innings. It all fell apart right out of the chute in ’06, when he was bombed by the Cardinals on opening day and was hit hard almost the entire season. The Phils identified the problem as a dip in his pitching motion. He would later miss a month with a groin issue.
Soon to turn 38, he could become a very useful, low-cost addition for the Cubs, provided he stays healthy. If it happens, there’s a chance he will outshine several Phillies.