Jon Lieber Rumors

Mets Still Like Jon Lieber

The New York Daily News reiterated the Mets’ interest in free agent starter Jon Lieber this morning.  Liebs turns 38 in April.  He’s probably just as good as Livan Hernandez, but less durable.  The Mets’ interest in Lieber was previously reported by Jayson Stark on December 5th

Other teams connected to Lieber – the Reds, Royals, Astros, and Rangers.

Peter Botte and Roger Rubin name Lieber as one of many free agent options for the Mets if they fail to trade for a frontline guy.  Kyle Lohse, Freddy Garcia, and Bartolo Colon are candidates.  Matthew Cerrone says the Mets have been watching Colon "quite closely as he pitches in the Dominican Winter League."

Odds and Ends: Sabathia, Loretta, Patterson

You know the drill, here’s a roundup of some rumor nuggets.  I’ll update the  post continuously throughout the day.

Royals, Astros, and Reds Interested In Lieber

According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, free agent hurler Jon Lieber is garnering interest from the Royals, Astros, Reds, Mets, and Rangers.  Liebs is expected to be ready for Spring Training after a foot injury.

Stark had previously reported that the Astros were not interested.

ESPN’s Latest: Sosa, Prior, Kuroda, Reyes

UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 11:19pm: Ah, the truth comes out.  Sammy Sosa‘s people approached the Royals, but they weren’t interested.

FROM 12-4-07 at 3:17pm:

ESPN has a huge team at the Meetings; here are some tidbits that haven’t appeared elsewhere on MLBTR.

  • Enrique Rojas says the Royals have interest in Sammy Sosa.  Could that indicate a Mark Teahen trade is in the works also?  Teahen is expected to move to first base to accomodate Jose Guillen, which would push Billy Butler to DH.  But Sammy can only DH.
  • Buster Olney says the Rangers and Padres are in on Mark Prior.
  • The Padres also like lefties Glendon Rusch and Shawn Estes, and may sign both after the Rule 5 as a means of adding starting depth.
  • Jayson Stark says the Mariners made an offer to Hiroki Kuroda in the range of four years, $45MM.
  • Jerry Crasnick says Anthony Reyes is generating a lot of interest.  The Cards, by the way, are open to trading Rick Ankiel, Chris Duncan, or Jim Edmonds.
  • The Rockies have gotten in touch with Marcus Giles‘ agent.
  • The Astros aren’t interested in Jon Lieber, despite previous reports.  They liked Matt Clement a bit among the injury guys but are over him now.
  • Ryan Howard‘s agent and the Phillies will sit down soon to talk about a long-term deal.

Odds and Ends: Tavarez, Lieber, Stewart

Another collection…

Odds and Ends: Colon, Clark, Gagne

Random rumors, let’s round ‘em up.

Phillies Could Re-Sign Lieber

The Phillies need pitching, and they intend to spend money on it.  Jon Lieber is a free agent, and he still has a little left in the tank.  Why not bring him back?

Lieber’s agent said yesterday that Liebs still has the Phillies under consideration.  His ’07 season with them was cut short by foot surgery.  For the Phillies the contract would probably have to be one year plus incentives.  Lieber’s agent wisely wouldn’t say whether he was up for that.  Who knows, maybe a guy like Lieber snags two years guaranteed somewhere.

So far the Astros are the only other team known to be considering Lieber.

Astros Interested In Lieber, Linebrink

Ed Wade is contacting all sorts of free agents, and going public with it.  The latest was starter Jon Lieber, who seems like a bargain and a decent fit for them.  Wade was behind the Phillies’ signing of Lieber in ’04.

Lieber will turn 38 in April of next year.  He only pitched 78 innings for the Phils in ’07 a strained oblique and a ruptured tendon in his foot.  He had surgery on the foot in July.  Maybe the Astros can get him on a one-year deal.

Jim Molony’s article also mentions that the Astros have reached out to reliever Scott Linebrink.  The Astros lost Linebrink to a Padres waiver claim in May of ’03.

It’s been previously stated that Wade has been in touch with Torii Hunter, Aaron Rowand, Luis Castillo, and perhaps Tom Glavine.

Update on Garland: Phillies Scouting

We said a few weeks back that the White Sox May Shop Jon Garland and that Garland knows it.  The White Sox are seeking 2 relievers.  As Tim noted, the Red Sox, Rockies, Braves, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, Mets, and Phillies have all shown interest.  Well, it starts here:  Paul Hagen recently caught wind of the Phillies scouting the tall right hander during his complete game shutout of the Royals last Wednesday.

Garland is due $12MM in the final year of his contract.  The Phillies will be waving goodbye to Jon Lieber and flop Freddy Garcia, opening up $17MM and the (incredible) need for a quality starter in a rotation comprised of Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, Adam Eaton, and the indefatigable Jamie Moyer.

As Tim noted, the ChiSox tried to shop him last offseason to the Astros, but the deal unraveled just before the scheduled press conference.  The bad news for GM Kenny Williams:  Garland went on to make ’07 his worst season in recent memory going 9-13 with a 4.23 ERA.  Good news for Kenny Williams:  The man finished strong, flat out dominating in September by posting a 1.38 ERA over 39.1 IP, and going over 200 Innings for the 4th straight year.

Still, judging from your comments, MLBTR readers aren’t too high on Mr. Garland.  Are the Phillies?

Posted by: Nat Boyle

Lieber For Farnsworth?

At this point, the rumor appears more speculation than actual confirmed talks between the Yankees and Phillies.  But plenty of folks see the logic in a Jon Lieber for Kyle Farnsworth swap, including Peter Abraham.

The Yankees find themselves with a rotation of Mussina, Wang, Pettitte, Igawa, and pray for rain.  Pavano, Hughes, and Karstens are all hurt.  Igawa is in the rotation mainly by necessity.  Brian Cashman can hold out, hope for a Roger Clemens rescue.  Or he can find some sort of reinforcement now.  Is Lieber the answer?

Has the Lieber of old returned?  It’s only been three starts.  Lieber’s 6.27 hits per nine isn’t sustainable; a 1.7 K/BB is low for him.  And let’s not forget how different it is to face the Red Sox as compared to the Nationals.  I know beggars can’t be choosy, but we also can’t wishcast the current version of Liebs is the same as ’04.

The Yanks’ bullpen is pitching OK with a 3.97 ERA so far.  Farnsworth has had a rough 9.1 innings in the early going, but I’m not sure he’s expendable.  Brian Bruney and Mike Myers have been solid, but that’s about it.  The Yanks owe Farnsworth $10.75MM for 2007-08.

Meanwhile in Philly, Tom Gordon flew back to have his shoulder checked.  That increases the need for Brett Myers in the pen, but trading Lieber would further weaken the rotation.  I agree with Tom that the Phils should stand pat.  Or at least acquire relief help without trading away key parts of the team.  Remember, Lieber was expendable back when Myers was starting, Adam Eaton seemed tolerable, and Gordon was somewhat healthy.  All of those things have changed.