Dodgers sign veteran C Lieberthal to one-year contract

Updated: December 6, 2006, 3:32 PM ET

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida -- With the Philadelphia Phillies moving in a new direction, Mike Lieberthal knew he was always welcome back home.

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday signed the veteran catcher to a one-year contract with a club option for 2008.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

A native of Glendale, California, Lieberthal spent his first 13 major league seasons with the Phillies. He is the franchise's all-time leader in games caught and earned a pair of All-Star berths and a Gold Glove Award along during his time with Philadelphia.

"He's been around a long time, he's been a very productive player," Dodgers manager Grady Little said. "For the role he'll take on our ballclub, he'll be a good fit. We're excited to have him."

Lieberthal appeared in just 67 games due to injuries last season, hitting .273 with nine homers and 36 RBIs. He has not played in more than 131 games since 1999 as injuries and age have crept up on him.

But catching every day should not be a problem in Los Angeles as the 34-year-old Lieberthal will back up Russell Martin, who enjoyed a fine rookie season in 2006.

"Mike is a veteran catcher who can help our club in a lot of different ways," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "As a former Gold Glove Award winner, he has a lot to offer Russell Martin and he'll be able to provide valuable leadership in the clubhouse. He's another local player who knows what it means to be a Dodger."

The third overall pick in the 1990 draft, Lieberthal owns a career average of .275 with 150 home runs in 1,174 games with the Phillies.

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