Analysis

Utley Plans on Staying, Is He Our Jeter?

Ruben Amaro recently said he would be looking to sell as the July 31st trade deadline approaches. While some current Phillies players might welcome a trade to a contending team, such as closer Jonathon Papelbon, others have no plans but to continue wearing red pinstripes. One of those players is the Phillies lone All-Star, second baseman Chase Utley.

“The grass isn’t always greener on the other side,” he said Monday. “I’ve picked some brains over the course of the last few years. I really enjoy Philadelphia. I love playing baseball in Citizens Bank Park. I love playing in front of Philly fans. There’s no better place to play in my opinion. Obviously winning is important and you want to do that, and I would like to do that in Philadelphia.”

Utley has played all 12 years of his professional career with the Phillies batting .288, with 225 career home runs, and never having a season with a WAR below 2.3. Of course, he was an integral part of the 2008 World Series Championship team.

However, Utley made it clear that he won’t over stay his welcome in Philadelphia either.

“If someone at some point comes up to me and says you’re not wanted in Philadelphia anymore, I might have to rethink that,” he said. “I think if I was a betting man I would say probably there will be no change.”

I would have to agree with Utley on this one. When Ruben Amaro signed him to a new contract that has the potential to go five years in length, he essentially was deciding to make Utley a Phillie for life. In a day and age where it is rare for a player to play his entire career with one team, it would be nice to see Chase Utley retire as a Phillie just as Derek Jeter is retiring as a New York Yankee.

The flip side of that is that aside from pitchers Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, Utley has the most value out of any other potential trade piece on the Phillies. Would you rather get assets in return for Utley while you still can, or have him be Mr. Phillie and retire in Philadelphia?

You can catch Chase Utley tonight as the starting second baseman for the National League All-Star team. Utley will be making his 6th start for the NL All-Star team and batting 7th. The game airs at 8:00 tonight on FOX.

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