November 08, 2004

Lieberthal to Dodgers?

Howard Eskin reported Sunday night on “Sports Final” that the Phillies are talking to the Dodgers about Mike Lieberthal.

Eskin’s sources said the Phillies do not want to go into next season with Lieberthal as their catcher. However, Lieberthal has full no-trade rights as a veteran of 10 years and five with same team. He is owed $7.5 million next season and is 160 plate appearances away from being owed $7.5 million in 2006, Jim Salisbury reported in Sunday’s Inquirer.The Phillies would be forced to eat a considerable amount of Lieberthal’s remaining contract if he is part of a trade.

Salisbury also reported the Phillies are making a number of inquiries about catchers, both front-line and backup, at the fall meetings in Miami.

Our take
There are bigger needs than catcher if you look at the numbers, which indicates the dissatisfaction with Lieberthal must be largely internal and has become a major distraction.

Johnny Bench he ain’t, but there’s no cushion down on the farm if Wade can’t strike a deal for a legitimate major league catcher. Dealing Lieberthal to Los Angeles would almost certainly yield catcher David Ross, who’s not good enough to carry the load.


At 12:22 PM, Blogger Tom G. said...

I think the Phillies are worried about his cost in the coming years. They don't mind much to use him in 2005, but if they do, his option for 2006 will kick in when he will be making a ton of money for an aged catcher. In other words, they are willing to roll the dice on 2005, but not for 2006.

Tom G


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