LOS ANGELES - Mike Lieberthal has decided to retire after a 14-year major league career, 13 with the Phillies.
Lieberthal spent last season with the Dodgers, and mostly he sat.
"I'm done," Lieberthal said Saturday. "I decided a couple weeks after the season ended. If [the Dodgers] had picked up my option, I probably would have played 1 more year. But I didn't want to go anywhere else."
Lieberthal, 36, who grew up in nearby Westlake Village, played his first 13 seasons with the Phils before signing with the Dodgers last winter. He hit .274 with 150 homers and played in the 1999 and 2000 All-Star Games as a Phillie.
Lieberthal played in 38 games last season as a backup to Russell Martin, hitting .234 in 77 at-bats.
"There were a lot of reasons," Lieberthal said. "The money was great as a backup, but I have made [enough] money in baseball. I just didn't want to go through what I have to go through with my body to play 20-25 games a year. It's not worth it. I'm in a totally happy place."
After declining the option on Lieberthal, the Dodgers signed free-agent Gary Bennett - another former Phillie - to a 1-year contract to back up Martin.
Lieberthal caught more games than anyone in Phillies history (1,139). The Phillies picked him third overall in the 1990 amateur draft and he made his major league debut in 1994. *