UPDATE, 1-16-08 at 1:18pm: The deal is for $3.5MM plus incentives. The signing looks solid to me; the Cubs needed a little depth at the back end of their rotation and the risk is very small. Lieber had also spoken to the Reds, but the Cubs were his first choice.
UPDATE, 1-16-08 at 10:45am: Rosenthal confirms the signing; it’s a one-year deal. He says Lieber won’t have to fight for a rotation spot. That might mean Jason Marquis is headed out of town or Ryan Dempster back to the ‘pen (I suppose Dempster could be dealt instead). I guess Sean Marshall is the sixth man if he’s not traded.
FROM 1-16-08 at 10:14am:
According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs "appear close to signing veteran right-hander Jon Lieber." Sullivan says Lieber would compete for the team’s fifth starter job. Bruce Levine called this rumor earlier this month.
Lieber had some solid years for the Cubs, winning 20 games in ’01. He had surgery in July of ’07 for a ruptured tendon in his foot, missing the rest of the season. He’ll be 38 in April.