The time has come to put an end to the Looper as starter gag. I mean, it was funny for a while, but we're getting dangerously close to opening day.
The Phillies have too many starters, and for some dumb reason they are going to send Lieber - their fourth best - to the 'pen, if they can't trade him first. Reports have Lieber going to the Brewers for Kevin Mench or to the Chisox with Aaron Rowand for Mike MacDougal. Both of these trades address the Phillies' needs, bullpen help and the outfield.
While the Cards couldn't help them in the outfield, a combination of Looper-Narveson or Looper-Rincon or Looper-Rincon-Narveson (why not?) should suffice. Moreover, the money works nicely as Looper-Rincon has $7.45mm coming over the next two years compared to $7.5mm for one year of Lieber.
Why do we want Lieber? 3.38 era over his last 11 starts in '06, a 1.50 era this spring (thanks jason stark), and a ZIPS projection of 4.43 era, 114/33 k/bb, and 193 innings pitched.
Looper won't do that, we don't need Rincon, and Narveson can't stay even if we wanted him. CORRECTION: We're actually paying Looper and Rincon $11.45mm over the next two years, so we'd probably have to include some cash in the deal