"I lieb you, baby. I lieb you. Now lieb me alone."
[By the way, that's a line from The Producers]
In an effort to ensure that Larry Lucchino and the Red Sox cannot acquire a single player this offseason, the Yankees signed John Lieber to a two-year contract for $4M (plus an $8 M option for 2005). Since Lieber is expected to miss this entire season recuperating his elbow after offseason surgery, it's basically a $4M contract for 2004.
It's not as if the Yankees want or even need Lieber, but the Red Sox were readying to sign the free agent, so the Yankees had to snatch him up. The Red Sox could start using this against the Yankees. They could start chatting up inferior players in hopes that the Yankees sign them to exorbitant contracts. Knowing the Sox, they'd probably just screw that up, too. They'd end up with guys like Jose Offerman and John Burkett. Oh, never mind.