Open Thread: Jon Lieber


(AP Photo/Ed Betz)

Given the current state of the Yankees rotation, I guess it’s only fitting that today is the eight year anniversary of the John Lieber signing, a move similar to the recent scrap heap signings of Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon. Just a season removed from 21 wins and a 4.23 FIP with the Cubs, Lieber was in the process of rehabbing from Tommy John surgery when the Yankees inked him to a two-year contract knowing he’d miss the entire 2003 season. He was worth the wait though, because Lieber provided 176.2 quality innings in 2004, pitching to a 3.71 FIP with just 16 unintentional walks (0.82 uIBB/9). He also gave the team some strong starts in the postseason before signing a big fat deal with the Phillies and eventually hurting his arm again. Every once in a while one of these reclamation guys will work out, hopefully one of them does in 2011.

Here’s tonight’s open thread. The Devils, Knicks, and Nets are all in action, but you should go out, it is Friday night.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Kiersten says:

    I’m so bored that I actually wish I was working tonight.

    Anybody have any ideas?

  2. Pat D says:

    After all the pitching debacles in 2004, and the fact that Lieber was pretty near the most reliable starter that year, I remember being pretty upset when they let him go to the Phillies.

    But it was all just as well since he got hurt again.

  3. long time listener says:

    I’ll admit it. I had Lieber Fever.

  4. NJYankeeFan says:

    I really liked Lieber. He was a real bulldog out there and had some big starts that season.

  5. Bulldozer says:

    Anyone else surprised Vlad got $8mm?
    Manny got $2mm!

    I swear, the Rays are going to make that Kyle Farnsworth deal look good.

  6. Greg says:

    And just when you thought the AL East couldn’t get more crowded, The Orioles have just signed Vlad to a one year $8m deal.

  7. NJYankeeFan says:

    Mike, you should do an open thread on Melido Perez. In 2002, he pitched 247 innings including 10 complete games with an ERA of 2.87, a FIP of 3.05 and a WAR of 5.9. He was never the same again, though probably because he pitched 112 innings more than the previous year and 50 more than his career high to that point. He was sure great that year, though.

  8. Rivera Venue Blues says:

    I’m dunno why, but I’m starting to build some optimism for this season, despite Pettitte retiring. I can’t wait till we trade Bartolo Colon at the deadline for a Smoak-type bat. Who’s with me?!

  9. bonestock94 says:

    So, does Chavez break camp?

  10. nsalem says:

    Never understood why the Yankees would sign Lieber before his TJS but not resign hm after a successful 2004. He was quite good in 2005 and didn’t get hurt until two months into 2006. The Yankees passed on Lieber to pursue Jaret Wright possibly because Wright was coming off a
    career year in Atlanta (just like Javy!!!) and was 3 years younger then Lieber. While Lieber remained his average self Wright reverted to his injury plagued and sub par ways. They both signed identical 3 year 21 million dollar contracts. Lieber started 74 games and threw 464 innings to Wright’s 46 starts and 213 innings over the 3 years. In hindsight a poor decision.

    • Gonzo says:

      IIRC, they were going to sign Lieber, but Lieber surprised them and signed with the Phils. I think they had an option, and they had unwritten agreement too sign him after they turned down the option. However, the Phils came in and offered him more than what the Yanks had informally agreed to with him. He took the money and they Yanks had to go fishing.

      Not sure if that’s entrely true because this all based on my memory after two glasses of wine. What the heck.

      • nsalem says:

        The Yankees didn’t want to give the 3 years that Lieber was seeking and probably deserved after his 2004 performance.

        • Gonzo says:

          Giving a 35 year old a three year deal off of one good year. I don’t blame them.

          • nsalem says:

            He had many good years behind him at that point in his career and he pitched 140 more quality innings over a 3 year period than Pavano and Wright combined who were both age 29 at the time of their signings. Hindsight is 20/20 though.

    • Kiersten says:

      Jaret Wright? I have no knowledge of this Jaret Wright of which you speak.

      (god damn the mid-00s were ugly)

      • nsalem says:

        As a 21 year old Cleveland Indian Jaret Wright beat us twice in games 2 and 5 of the ALDS. He was one of the key reasons that we didn’t win 4 rings in a row. He was dreadful or injured from 1998-2003. Had a good year in 2004 and the Yankees foolishly signed him on the basis of that good year. He quickly returned to being injured and dreadful. We traded him to the Orioles (i think) early in 2007. Wright started the final playoff game of 2006 vs the Tigers and didn’t make it through the 3rd inning. It was a sad and long night for The Yankees. I too wish I had no knowledge of Jaret Wright.

  11. Xstar7 says:

    Is anyone else as sick of all this Blake Griffin hype as I am?

    • Sean C says:

      I am a little. He’s definitely ESPN’s hype-machine target these days. However, that doesn’t change his hell-beast status.

    • Teh Comp Pick says:

      He looks like he is poised for a hell of a career. All time great probably not, but a hell of a player. Real quick off of the top of my head. MLB player he is comparable too….Evan Longoria!!!!11

  12. MikeD says:

    Great timing for naming tonight’s open thread “Jon Leiber.” Just read that the Yankees have also invited Leiber to camp.

  13. Joltin' Joe says:

    John Lieber is from my town and just about the nicest guy you could meet. My friend (a phillies fan) bought a bar two years ago and this past Summer John came back for an appearance. We sat with him at a table and had a few beers. Close to the end of the night John asked us who is the Phillies fan. I thought to myself oh here we go I’m in for 30 mins of Phillie love. My friend cockily said “I am”, John replied “I’m sorry everything about that town sucks” and proceeded to berate the team the the town the stadium and the food. Then looked at me and said “the Yankees now that’s a quality organization”

  14. Couple random points

    a few baffling questions in the chat today. Like, A-rod for d brown and hamels? really? Philly might not do that if the yankees ate 20MM per year. Another one was the Joba and Dellin for Blanton? REALLY? we would laugh in the Phils’ faces (I hope) if they offered Blanton for ONE of those two, and then ask them for the drug that they are on, even if they ate money.
    And also the one about Joba and Brien Taylor. NOT EVERY PROSPECT CAN REACH THEIR POTENTIAL.

    which brings me to my next point: If you are disappointed that the Big 3 turned into a #3 starter with potential for more, a great CF, and a solid reliever, you are insane. The whole POINT of prospects is that they DON’T ALWAYS REACH THEIR CEILING. Like, take Phil Hughes. Turned into a solid #3 starter with potential to be a great #2. At age 24. If you are disappointed by that, you might as well stop following the minors. Take Stephen Strasburg. Given CY guy, right? Goes out and gets hurt. THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS TO PROSPECTS. IT’S LIFE. If you are disappointed that ANY prospect turns into a #3 or #2, you’re crazy. And I am going to predict, right here and now, that Bryce Harper does not make a single all-star game. Yeah, I said it.

    People say “the Yanks have tons more money therefore money doesn’t matter.” THIS IS FALSE. Well, we do have a lot of money, not gonna deny that, but that doesn’t mean you can just blow a ton of money. Sure, you can just say it’s not your money, and it isn’t, but if we went out and, say, traded for Barry Zito, IT WOULD PREVENT US FROM SIGNING PLAYERS IN THE FUTURE. We as fans don’t pay for these guys, but the contracts do make us pay by watching a poorer product in the future.

    So there’s my baseball rant for the day.

    • Anthony Murillo says:

      While I’m 100% with you on not blowing their money away, the Yankees can afford to take a hit in their payroll because it likely won’t prevent them from acquiring whatever player they may need. We all hear that their payroll is roughl $200 million but they could easily stretch that if need be. So while the Yankees shouldn’t go out their and acquire a guy with a terrible contract (like Zito) just because they can afford his contract, they sure as hell won’t be shy in shelling out that money for a talent that they deem to be worth it (Soriano).

      As for the prospects, I’ve always felt that most prospects serve as trade chips. Am I saying that the Yankees should trade Montero, Man-Ban, Brackman, Betances, etc… for moderate talent? No. But if an elite talent becomes availble (like a Felix Hernandez) and the only thing stopping you from making the trade is one of your top prospects…you give up that top prospect.

  15. Sandman42 says:

    Not having Andy hurts for sure, I think this team is still good enough to win the world series. The problem is i’m not sure if they’re good enough to make the playoffs. On paper they are solid at 3 of the 4 aspects of the game:

    Defense- 3 good to great defensive OFs, 2 GG infielders, upgrade at catcher defensively

    Problem is of course starters. IF the yankees were to start off as 1 of the 8 teams in the playoffs, they’d be fine in short series with CC, Hughes, and unknown with their pen, offense and defense. So in this case, they’re good enough to win the WS. Issue will be making the playoffs through the grind of the season and that’s what they need to figure out between now and the trade deadline.

    Make something happen. If they can make the playoffs without their guys getting hurt or too taxed, they have as good of a shot to win as any. For now its still a big IF, but that’s why they play the games.

  16. irin says:

    Not big on yankees fan but they have a good team and they are looking forward to a great season. I think that they can be preety good this year, hope they win although it’s pretty good for the city.

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