Chase Utley Extended by Phils – Phillies Nation

Chase Utley Extended by Phils

CHUTLEYJim Salisbury is reporting on Twitter that a Chase Utley extension is completed, which means the 34-year old second basemen and fan favorite will remain a Phillie beyond 2013. And he celebrated by nearly killing Dioner Navarro tonight.

The deal will likely be a two year extension, worth $25-$30 million, with multiple vesting options.

Utley’s contract status (along with his ability) was a big question mark coming into this season, and reports that the Phillies wanted to keep him trickled out here and there. But now it’s official. Utley remains a Phillie for at least two more years.

He’s having a very good year, and Ruben Amaro Jr. getting this deal done should be (barring outrageous contract details) a check in the win column for him as GM. There’s risk to the move, as with any, considering Utley’s injury history and age. But I think it’s a reasonable deal, and a healthy Utley is a top-5 2B in baseball.

What do you think about the extension?



  1. Hogey's Role

    August 7, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    2 years high 20s with multiple vesting options

  2. Keith

    August 7, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    I think it might depend on what vests the option(s). The money is probably about right based on what the Phillies are paying other infielders.

  3. Morris Buttermaker

    August 7, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    The youth movement continues!

  4. Mike

    August 7, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    this team will be young @ 3b, rf, lf, cf next year and possibly c. galvis and cesar hernandez are michael martinez with better glove and slightly more pop.

    • Morris Buttermaker

      August 7, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      So the Phillies will have 3 past their prime players at 1st, 2nd and SS. And then question marks at all other positions.

      Sounds like a plan for success to me!

      • Mike

        August 7, 2013 at 8:58 pm

        i didnt say it was a good plan, just that there will be some youth. i dont trust ruben to rebuild this team. i think resigning Utley is fine. we are not getting cano and have nothing in the minors to upgrade from minors.

      • Morris Buttermaker

        August 7, 2013 at 9:02 pm

        Watching Amaro make deals is like watching Brian’s Song and thinking that maybe this time Brian Piccolo won’t die at the end.

        Massive contracts for veterans and then slop at every other position.

      • George

        August 8, 2013 at 10:10 am

        I can’t think of a single team that doesn’t have at least one or two players who are past their prime playing big roles. The pennant winning 2008 Phils, for instance, had a slowing Burrell playing LF, an over the hill Jenkins manning RF almost half the time, a mid-forties Jamie Moyer starting every five days, and a closer who had already lost a mile or two per off his fastball. One of their set-up men, Scott Eyre, was also near-retirement. The 2009 team featured Ibanez in LF, and the 2010 and 2011 teams also had an antique Polanco at 3rd.

        The Yanks seem to have managed okay (until this season) with a past prime SS, closer, 3rd baseman, and others. In fact, many of their winning teams have had AVERAGE ages which were pretty much at the expiration date for ML players.

        Filling every spot with youth is fine, but most of those teams end up resembling the Astros and Marlins.

  5. schmenkman

    August 7, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    @Skylar, first there is no evidence that players do better in their contract year. For every one that does, there’s another that doesn’t. In other words, you might as well flip a coin.

    As for Utley’s extension, forget for a moment that Utley is the best Phillie since Schmidt, that with a few more good years he’s a lock for the Hall, forget the thousands upon thousands of Utley jerseys out there, and the upcoming TV deal, wanting to compete in 2014, etc.

    The will need a second baseman for the next 2-4 years. They have the 2nd most productive second baseman in the NL this year, even with the missed time.

    And the most productive in the NL over the last year.

    His knees haven’t caused him to miss a game since June of last year, and he appears to be managing the condition so that he can play. Even if he does miss time, having 120 games of an elite second baseman and 40 games of a capable but average-level backup is much better than 160 of the average backup.

    The extension seems like a no-brainer.

    • schmenkman

      August 7, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      (“lock” is a bit strong — with a few more good years he will have a good shot at the Hall)

      • G7

        August 7, 2013 at 9:12 pm

        Rollins should also have strong Hall consideration with 2 more years, his numbers are at the top of the all time SS list.. Chase is still an excellent player, happy to have him back for 2 more..Outfield could be set for next year with Ruf, Revere and Brown.

      • schmenkman

        August 7, 2013 at 9:21 pm

        G7, I did some research earlier this year on Rollins and the Hall (the piece can be found by googling schmenkman rollins fame), and the conclusion was that while he’ll be borderline thanks to some very good numbers in the end I thought his chances were less than 50-50).

      • G7

        August 7, 2013 at 9:38 pm

        Ok, I can respect your research, but 4 gold gloves, MVP & Silver Slugger years to go with a WS title, 2,000+ hits and 400+ steals..I think it will be much better than 50-50 by the time he’s done.

      • Jerome

        August 7, 2013 at 10:25 pm

        If you look at J-Roll’s similarity scores on b-r, you will find a list of barely borderline Hall candidates , and for the “similar batters through 33” section, you will find some interesting names, but most are borderline Hall guys and the exceptions either had a bigger peak (sandberg) or racked up the counting stats in their late 30s (Jeter, Biggio, Morgan). I don’t see Jimmy as one of those guys, unfortunately.

        Utley’s more of an interesting case. However, unless there is a drastic swing in the makeup of the BBWAA, he won’t make it. He’s going to get the Don Mattingly treatment. Granted, Mattingly played 1st and not 2nd, but same basic idea – huge peak, but no counting stats and not much dominance beyond the peak. Utley’s being a 2nd baseman will help his odds, but only about as much as being a Yankee helped Mattingly’s.

    • Hogey's Role

      August 7, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      Absolutely agree with you schmenkman100%

  6. Skylar

    August 7, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    He is a free agent. Of course he would have a good season!
    Giving someone who will be 35 yrs old on opening day 2014 and someone witth chronically bad knees *any* extension is beyond risky–it is flat out stupid!

    If Utley misses any time due to injuries, then RAJ will get exactly he asked for!
    If Amaro is concerned with signing these aging, injured veterans, then he is not serious about having a winning team on the field anytime soon.

    • hk

      August 7, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      2/3 or more of a season from Utley for that price is a much better value proposition than any other option that they could have pursued this off-season for 2014 or 2015. While he has chronically bad knees, they have not caused him to miss any games this year. Good job by both sides coming to a fair deal.

  7. Lefty

    August 7, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    I’d like to see more details before passing judgement, but first impression is that it’s a fair deal for both sides as hk has already said above.

    Details include – whether there are vesting options for year 3, and if they are challenging enough, etc.

  8. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 7, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    All these hall of famers and a crappy team.

    Go figure.

    If he hadn’t hoarded Rollins and Howard and others this deal would make some sense.

    Instead I am looking at one of the worst teams in the league who will be older and more infirmed next year.

    But apparently some believe they can win it all.

    Watch them make a ridiculous contract offer to Halladay too.

    Its not my money and I don’t care if the team is winning pay them all 50 million a year.

    But they suck.

    Who is closing and in the pen the next 2 years?

    Because that’s going to be an issue.

    Hard to hate on Utley and in an ideal world with a legit GM and roster and team Id celebrate this. But now its just another old guy with a history of injuries.

    This team sucks but I guess some fans and the GM want to live like its 2008 and keep fielding all these hall of famers and losing 90 plus games.

    • Jerome

      August 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      Utley deal makes sense, even if he’s injured. The general number I’ve seen is that 1 WAR is worth about 5 million. Utley will be making no more than 15 mil/year with this contract. Last season, playing about half a season, Utley accumulated 3 WAR. This season, he’s played just over 80 games so far and has accumulated 2.9 WAR. 15 mil/year, even if Utley is injured half of that time, should work out to be a fair deal.

      Odds are about 50/50, I’d say, of this being a great deal or a bust. A risk worth taking given the 2nd basemen market out there.

  9. Chuck A.

    August 7, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Plays like that one at the plate tonight are alone worth a few million dollars. Dude can flat out play baseball and I appreciate his approach to the game. Fair deal in my opinion, glad he’s still in pinstripes…and this is coming from someone who’s been more critical of him at times than most people in this town.

    Chase…. You. Are. The. Man.

    • Morris Buttermaker

      August 8, 2013 at 12:03 am

      But he was out?

      And when you look at the replay, it looks like he would have been safe if he had slid. Navarro left a lot of the plate open. Utley starts to slide, but then pulls his leg up over home.

  10. Bart Shart

    August 7, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Stupid move financially by signing Utley. Just throw money away. He will be playing half the season next year and half the season the year after and earning a king’s ransom. JUST ANOTHER STUPID MOVE BY A DUMB AND SENTIMENTAL GENERAL MANAGER WHO SHOULD BE FIRED.

  11. Bart Shart

    August 7, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Morris Buttermaker — you are 100 percent correct. Big contracts for veterans past their primes and slop for other players. That is NO RECIPE for a winning organization. Frankly, I believe that Amaro is so stupid that he is ruining this organization.

    • schmenkman

      August 8, 2013 at 7:21 am

      Devils in the details, but if it’s anything like we’ve heard so far (2 for $28 M or so, with one or two vesting years), this figures to be a bargain and among the best values for the money on the market for one of the best at their position.

  12. c. schreiber

    August 8, 2013 at 12:11 am

    Has anyone other than I noticed what seems to be the large amount of DOAs at home. Has Sandberg ever coached third base before? Ruf night before last was out by half the distance between the bases. Schmenk, do you have any data on that versus the rest of the NL?

    • schmenkman

      August 8, 2013 at 8:01 am

      The Phillies have been thrown out more than usual at home, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, if it also means more runs scored in the end.

      They’ve been thrown out at home 15 times this year, compared to the NL average of 12.5.

      Some of those times, such as with one out last night, it doesn’t make any sense. But most of his risky sends this year have been with two outs, when taking a chance and forcing the other team to make the play is a good gamble. The chances that the next batter will get the run home are between 20% and 30% (less for a pitcher), so it makes sense to force the other team to make the play rather than strand a key run on 3rd base, even if it means some runners get thrown out.

  13. Rob h

    August 8, 2013 at 1:12 am

    For those of you who don’t like this who in house is this hurting or what signing does this block. This isn’t basketball u don’t need to bottom out to be good.

  14. Scooter

    August 8, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Oh, god, no. (At least it’s only two years.)

  15. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 8, 2013 at 2:05 am

    You have one of the lowest bottom dweller teams.

    You are 6th in runs allowed and 25th in runs scored.

    Why would anyone want to lock these players up?

    If the were 20 something? But they are 30 something.
    There is a major disconnect here.

    How could a rooting fan for the team want this?
    There is a fan interest who thinks they will contend next year?

    What would give anyone besides Ruben a thought of that?

    I hope Ruben is right.
    I more hope he loses his job though.

    He is endless on this.

    Victorino or Pence dont rate anything,
    But his guys rate inflated contracts?

    He is amazing.

    Hes still calling the shots though.

  16. Fritz

    August 8, 2013 at 2:35 am

    Amaro needs to fix the bullpen and third base in the offseason or the signing of Utley won’t matter.
    Again if Amaro can construct a winning team I want Utley on it but from what I’ve seen in last couple of years Amaro’s ability is the big question not Utley.

  17. Carlos Danger

    August 8, 2013 at 4:37 am

    I love Utley – I hate the contract extension. It has nothing to do with whatever secondbaseman would have replaced Chase Utley. That’s a very shortsighted way to view this. It’s all about payroll allocation (always an Amaro weakness) and lineup balance.

    • hk

      August 8, 2013 at 6:23 am

      I am one of Amaro’s critics on these boards, but let’s review this signing on its own merits and not color it by the horrible Howard or Papelbon contracts. How do you even begin to talk about payroll allocation and lineup balance without discussing how you would replace Utley? If the reports are right and the deal is for $27M for 2 years with vesting options that Utley can earn through playing time, how would you suggest they better allocate payroll at 2B and better balance the lineup? Let’s look at some facts:

      1. As long as they are willing to go to, but not exceed, the luxury tax limit, they have plenty of room to spend money as they will head into the off-season $20M+ below the limit.
      2. If they are paying him ~$13.5M per season, his extension is barely an increase in AAV from his $85M / 7 year deal that is ending.
      3. According to WAR, he’s been the 6th most valuable 2B this year, despite WAR being a counting stat and Utley playing significantly fewer games than the 5 2B’s ahead of him on the list.
      4. Since RHP’s throw about 70% of the innings in a typical MLB season, if you have a player with a platoon split, which Utley has shown increasingly over the years, it is much better to have one who hits LH as opposed to RH.

      Looking at the possible alternatives, they could overpay for Robinson Cano as a free agent (if the Yankees don’t re-sign him before he reaches free agency) and possibly lose their 1st round draft pick or employ a cheaper, but lesser player at 2B. Since, this contract leaves them with plenty of room under the cap to address other needs, it actually is about what 2B would have replaced Utley. The opportunity cost of not signing Utley is having a lesser player at 2B while ownership holding onto more money.

  18. Eric D

    August 8, 2013 at 5:07 am

    For those who are against this move could you please share what better option the Phillies had . . . Go on I’ll wait . . . CRICKETS . . . CRICKETS . . . CRICKETS . . . Exactly! There isn’t a better option. Hernandez isn’t a MLB regular on this team unless they had a SOLID 3-5 then he slots into the 8th hole nicely but the Phillies don’t have that right now. And Galvis Isn’t the option either. Worst comes to worst and Utley isn’t playing then you can give Hernandez/Galvis a shot. There really wasn’t any other option for RAJ And he should be applauded for only giving a two-year deal.

  19. TheDipsy

    August 8, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Cesar Hernandez is a player. Where does he play now? Do we not worry about it and trade him? Hard to hate on Utley. 2 years makes me feel better.

    The Dipsy

    • hk

      August 8, 2013 at 7:23 am

      The Dipsy,

      Prior to the season, the prospects bloggers almost unanimously ranked the Phils system among the 5 worst in baseball and none that I’ve seen ranked Hernandez in the top 10 or even 15 of the system. After a high BABIP season at AAA, currently has him as the 15th best prospect in the system. I doubt that there’s a lot of demand for him in a trade.

      According to every write-up that I’ve read, Hernandez projects as a below average regular who is probably best suited to be a utility player. With Utley signed for 2 years, having Hernandez in the utility role on a minimum salary is great for the team, especially if the CF experiment works out.

  20. Fritz

    August 8, 2013 at 7:49 am

    I am a fan not a GM, I don’t really care about Amaro’s plus- minus on the signings.
    I love baseball because it is such a great game, however it is a more enjoyable game when your team is winning.I wish I could push the reverse button back to 2007, I can’t.
    I go down to the park and watch on TV and what I’ve been watching for the last two years isn’t good. That is all I’m saying,I don’t think Amaro can bring this team back to winning baseball.I truly hope that I am wrong.

  21. Art

    August 8, 2013 at 7:55 am

    The Phillies have plenty of money to spend. Amaro knows that he needs to fix the bullpen and add a starter and a hitter and fix the bench. He’s knows he can re-sign Utley and still afford those other areas. Have some faith people. By the way, the Phillies are averaging 36337 in attendance per night on the current homestand through last night. Not to shabby for a team in fourth place.

    • hk

      August 8, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Are the attendance figures people through the turnstiles or tickets sold?

    • Morris Buttermaker

      August 8, 2013 at 10:27 am

      We should have faith in Amaro. He can quickly turn this team around. Just two years ago, they had 102 wins. And now look, 4th place and 18 games out of first and will need to go on a run just to get to .500! Heck, just two and a half weeks ago they 6 games out! A quick turnaround is possible with him!

  22. RatBastardNJ

    August 8, 2013 at 8:29 am

    I feel as Phillies fans we are all just feeling beat up right now. It’s been a rough season and of course, Amaro is going to take the hit for it. I personally like the Utley signing. My feeling for this goes beyond the stats but what he brings to the team. Utley sells more merchandise in this city due to his all out play (my wife would say it is because he is cute). I just don’t want to see him in a different uniform as much as the Yankees didn’t want to see Jeter in a different one either. Utley has looked solid this year and has earned this contract. I do believe the new workout regimen has produced positive results and hopefully he won’t lose large chunks of time in the next two years.

    I also imagine that if we didn’t sign Utley for next year, many of the Phillies Nation would be as upset, if not more. Amaro has no way of winning either way.

  23. Hogey's Role

    August 8, 2013 at 9:08 am

    I am all for this signing.. I think it’s relatively cheap, yet pays Chase what he deserves…

    I just wish there was a position we could switch him to, to take some wear and tear off of his body…

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