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Phillies waiting for Cardinals to allow talks

ST. LOUIS -- Jim Leyland, a big-league manager for 14 seasons and Cardinals scout for the last four, will meet with the Phillies on Monday to interview for their vacant managerial position, a source has told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.

The Phillies had sought permission from the Cardinals to speak with Leyland, who is also being sought by the Mets for an interview for their managerial opening, the New York Daily News reports.

A number of Leyland's friends had contacted the Phillies in recent days to let them know Leyland would like to be a candidate. One of those friends is believed to be Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.

On Wednesday, it was reported that there was a potential hangup in that when Leyland resigned as manager of the Rockies in 1999, after the first season of a three-year contract, he allegedly agreed not to manage again for seven years. Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd told ESPN.com then that the Rockies would make no decision on whether to seek compensation until the Phillies got closer to a decision.

On Thursday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Phillies president David Montgomery talked with Rockies chairman Charlie Monfort and Monfort said the Rockies found they had no rights with Leyland. Major League Baseball also told the Phillies there are no issues regarding Leyland, though Leyland is receiving deferred payments from the Rockies through 2006.

Leyland, who had a .486 winning percentage in 14 seasons managing Pittsburgh, Florida and Colorado, skippered the Marlins to the World Series title in 1997. He was the NL manager of the year in 1990 and '92 with the Pirates.

Buddy Bell interviewed with the Phillies on Monday. He was the fourth candidate to interview for the position since Larry Bowa was fired on Oct. 2, joining former managers Don Baylor, Charlie Manuel and Grady Little.

Jim Fregosi returned to Philadelphia on Tuesday to interview for the job. Former Phillies catcher John Russell will interview on Wednesday and Braves hitting coach Terry Pendleton will be in on Thursday.

Fregosi led the Phillies to the 1993 NL pennant before losing to Toronto in six games in the World Series.

Information from ESPN.com senior writer Jayson Stark and The Associated Press was used in this report.