Phillies Don't Deny Shopping Lieberthal

He has seniority over all of his teammates and a no-trade clause in his contract. Even so, the Phillies have admitted to asking around to gauge interest in sending their catcher - and his sizeable contract - elsewhere. As for Lieberthal, if the situation was right, he would be willing to ignore the no-trade part of his contract.

Mike Lieberthal has heard the rumors that the Phillies might be willing to trade him. And the team's longest-tenured player said that he might be willing to waive his right to veto a trade under the right circumstances.

"I've thought about it," he admitted. "What teams would I go to? There aren't many. But anything can happen in this game. Obviously, I'd be open to discussing it if they want to trade me. Because, if they want to trade you they think they're making themselves better."

"The situation would have to fit, though. Honestly, it would be really hard to do, because I really like the situation I'm in."

General manager Ed Wade said he expects Lieberthal to be back with the Phillies next season. "I'd be less than honest if I said I hadn't trolled out there a little bit, but I don't see it happening."

The biggest obstacle to a trade is Lieberthal's contract. He'll make $7.5 million in 2005 and can guarantee a $7.5 million option for 2006 with just 110 plate appearances in the 2005 season.

Asked specifically where he might consider being traded to, Lieberthal named the Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees and Cardinals. "Pretty much just teams that can win," he said.

Three of those four teams could be in the market for catching. The Dodgers would like to replace Paul Lo Duca, who was traded to the Marlins in July. And the Red Sox (Jason Varitek) and Cardinals (Mike Matheny) both have catchers who have declared for free agency.

But Lieberthal also stressed that his first choice would be to remain with the Phillies.

He said he loves training in Clearwater, enjoys hitting at Citizens Bank Park and is excited about the staff changes that have been made. "I seem to get along with (new manager) Charlie Manuel pretty well," he said.

Phillies News:

  • The Phillies reportedly received between $1 and $1.5 million from the Yankees as part of the deal that sent reliever Felix Rodriguez to New York for Kenny Lofton.
  • Kenny Lofton will be reunited with Charlie Manuel, who he played for in Cleveland and he's looking forward to the reunion. "We have a good relationship," Lofton said. "The good thing about Charlie is he keeps you loose. He does things to make guys comfortable."
  • Todd Pratt appeared to be all but gone when things took a quick turn. Sandy Alomar, Jr came to town for a physical, but failed the exam and the Phillies quickly re-signed Pratt, who had appeared headed to division rival Florida. Pratt got a one-year, $750 thousand deal.
  • CF Marlon Byrd appears to be the odd man out after the Phillies acquired veteran Kenny Lofton from the Yankees. If Byrd isn't traded this winter, he'll likely start next season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
He said what? "We pre-conditioned all discussions on not giving up draft picks." -- General manager Ed Wade, saying that the Phillies will not sign any free agents this winter who are offered arbitration, thus requiring compensation.

Philly Baseball Insider Top Stories