PHILADELPHIA - Right-hander Jon Lieber agreed to a $21-million, three-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, rounding out a
revamped starting rotation. Lieber spent last season with the New York Yankees, going 14-8 with a 4.33 ERA in 27 starts. He was 1-1 with a 3.43 ERA in
three playoff starts for the Yankees, who wasted a 3-0 lead in the AL championship series against Boston.
Lieber gets a $1 million signing bonus and will earn $5.25 million in 2005, $7.25 million in 2006 and $7.5 million in 2007.
Lieber, who turns 35 in April, joins a rotation that subtracted Eric Milton and Kevin Millwood. Both free agents weren’t offered arbitration by the
Phillies before Tuesday’s midnight deadline, meaning their brief careers in Philadelphia are all but over.
A 20-game winner with the Cubs in 2001, Lieber was just 6-8 the following year and missed the entire 2003 season after undergoing ligament-replacement
surgery on his right elbow.
He sat out the first month of last season with a strained right groin, but returned to become a valuable member of New York’s injury-depleted staff.
He was 5-0 with a 3.12 ERA in his final six starts and won seven of his last eight decisions.
Lieber joins former All-Stars Randy Wolf and Vicente Padilla, Brett Myers and Corey Lidle in the Phillies’ rotation.
Millwood ($11 million) and Milton ($9 million) save the Phillies $20 million. The team re-signed Lidle to a $6.3 million, two-year deal last month,
acquired center fielder Kenny Lofton from the Yankees last week and re-signed left-hander Rheal Cormier to a $5.25 million, two-year contract on
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This should turn out to be a good signing for the Phils, especially considering they are losing Milton and Millwood from the rotation. Milton had a
good season but Millwood has underachieved in Philly the past 2 years. The Phils also got Kenny Lofton from the Yanks and he'll most likely lead-off
with Jimmy Rollins moving down to the 2-hole. I have big expectations once again for the Phillies, I hope new skipper Charlie Manuel can get these
guys back in the playoffs.