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.