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.



  1. BeyondInfinity

    July 15, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    this seems to me the biggest dilemma for raj in his managerial career. we will hate him if he hates utley but in a few years when we still suck we will hate him if he keeps utley and got nothing in return. that said i really want utley to stay, like you said its not common to keep someone in the same uniform for his career. even if he doesnt make the hall of fame for me his jerseynumber should be retired if he stays here

  2. Hogey's Role

    July 15, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Mr phillie, chase utley, you are the man!!

  3. Skylar0201

    July 15, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    This is all we need is another Rollins on the team who’s here for personal goals and nothing more. If Utley really cared about this team he would waive his no trade clause so we can get the optimal amount for him as much as possible now before his career really starts to nose – dive. However with a Amaro here that will never happen because hey Utley was on our 2008 team and we can’t get rid of those guys ( SMH! )

    • schmenkman

      July 15, 2014 at 8:22 pm

      This seems to assume that whatever they got for Utley would be better over the next few years than Utley himself would. It’s quite a reach IMO.

      • Skylar0201

        July 16, 2014 at 1:45 pm

        I never assume anything myself. I am merely saying that Amaro should seriously include Utley ( and anyone else who is either 1. Age 34 or older and/or 2. Has declined the last 2 yrs. )

        Since we have progressively got worse each of the last 5 yrs, which would you rather have: we lose 90-100 games a season spending $160+ million each year or us losing 90-100 games a year with a payroll half of that?

      • schmenkman

        July 16, 2014 at 1:53 pm

        Definitely the former, assuming the balance would otherwise be pocketed by the owners.

  4. Lefty

    July 15, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    My heart and head don’t agree on this one. But if it’s his desire to stay, IMHO he deserves to get his wish.

  5. Lefty

    July 15, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Aw! You gotta give Jeter that one

  6. Lefty

    July 15, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    7.50 for a single beer, sheesh. Rod Carew looks fairly young. He’s gotta be 65 at least. McCutchen is making a joke out of this.

  7. Lefty

    July 15, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Did they pipe in the Yankee announcer to introduce Jeter?

    • Hogey's Role

      July 15, 2014 at 9:32 pm

      That is a recording of the late bob Shepard, who was the Yankees announcer for years and that is always jeters walk up

      • Lefty

        July 15, 2014 at 9:49 pm

        Thanks Hogey

      • Hogey's Role

        July 15, 2014 at 9:51 pm

        You got it

  8. Lefty

    July 15, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    The Millville meteor

  9. Lefty

    July 15, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Chase might get to bat this inning.

  10. Lefty

    July 15, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Chase represents! Big time!!!!

  11. Lefty

    July 15, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Very close to outta there

  12. therookie300

    July 15, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    That was a good piece of hitting by Utley

  13. therookie300

    July 15, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Now there’s a true Utley AB…

  14. Bruce

    July 15, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    It’s a safe bet that Utley stays. For me, it’s a no-brainer; I WANT Utley to stay. Both the team and a huge majority of fans want him to stay. Let’s face reality, there will be NO fire sale regardless of what the PN writer of this thread says of Amaro’s alleged comment as possible “seller”.

    A cautious route is more probable with Byrd and/or Papelbon as the primary offer(s) for good prospects. I’m not sure if the young fans here who are clamoring for a fire sale understand the big picture and significance of doing that and resulting in a disastrous and long term hurt on the team’s morale, competitiveness and financial situation. To dismantle a team and rebuild from scratch is a hugh gamble and no gaurantee for future success(see Cubs and Astros).

    I wonder too if any of you have given any thoughts about the media conglomerate, Comcast? The obvious connection is the Comcast Sportnet and their new $2.5 billion TV contract for 25 years with the Phillies. Don’t you think their corporate heads will have some influence on what direction the team should take? With the declining attendance and likely a drop in TV ratings, one would certainly think Comcast is keeping an eye on the Phillies’ owners and GM on any decisions they make in possible trades. Sportnets has a very expensive media product to sell on air and do not want to jeopardize it with any talk of a “fire sale” and creating an image of a non-competitive, cellar dwelling team for the next several consecutive years

    • Lefty

      July 16, 2014 at 9:38 am

      Comcast pays the Phillies, but unless there was some contractual agreement in this deal, which I find doubtful, they have no say in the direction of the team. To my knowledge they did not sell any controlling interest in the team to Comcast. Can anyone inform me differently if I am wrong on that?

      That doesn’t mean they didn’t include something to that effect in the agreement, anything is possible I guess. I just can’t see the Phillies agreeing to allow Comcast to tell them how to run the team.

      By the way, I pay Comcast – and trust me when I tell you, they don’t listen to ANYTHING I have to say.

  15. wbramh

    July 16, 2014 at 12:26 am

    Then again, who knows what Comcast thinks… or if they think.
    They have a virtual monopoly and were really handed one when they were still a mom & pop company.

    They have one of the worst customer ratings on the planet and they don’t care! So if they meddle with the team, knowing even less about baseball customers then they do cable subscribers, you can bet it will get uglier.

    As for Utley, it’s still a pleasure to watch him play and Schmenk’s point is a good one – the Phillies are not guaranteed to get anything better in return. I would add that this management brain trust further reduces the chances of getting anything in return.

    Keep Chase. IMO, the team is not going to be competitive for many years to come – and in no small part because of Comcast’s stake. Had you or Schmenk or Lefty or Hogey sunk $ billions into the team instead of Comcast, I’d be a lot more positive about the team’s future. In the meantime, might as well keep one of the few players who understands fundamental baseball, has been exceedingly fun to watch play and most fans would like to see retire in a Phillies’ uniform.

    I believe we’ve entered what will come to be known as the “Neo-Dark Period of Phillies Baseball,” marked by moneymen and decision-makers who will not the people to lead us to post Ruben glories. But the old, staid money is dying off and Comcast sells off assets they can’t make the highest profit off of, so I’m keeping the faith that things will turn around in another 7-10 years between ownership turnover and reconstruction time, thereafter.

    • Lefty

      July 16, 2014 at 9:45 am

      Ha! You don’t want me at the helm, millions or not.

      BTW- if you have a few extra of those millions laying around and nothing to do with them, I’ll gladly pay transfer fees.

  16. George

    July 16, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Personally, I question the high trade value placed on Utley by the author of this piece. He’s aging and has knees that could quit at any time. How many GM’s don’t know that? I seriously doubt that any team would give up a prospect who could perform as well as Utley has over the years, or generate Utley-like fan interest, either.

    • Marty

      July 16, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      I think Utley has proven the last 2.5 seasons that the knee problem is behind him. He is still playing at a high level offensively and you really don’t think a team with unlimited money like the Dodgers that is in serious World Series contention wouldn’t trade a prospect to bring in a veteran presence like Utley who can still hit? I couldn’t disagree more.

      • George

        July 16, 2014 at 9:18 pm

        They’d trade a prospect, yes, but not a “can’t miss” prospect. Utley, at his fairly advanced age, just isn’t the Utley who used to crank out home runs and RBI’s, or steal bases, and despite his apparent health right now, those knees are a known risk. Even this year, there have been those saying he should be rested more.

        Personally, I’d rather the Phils accept whatever they can get by keeping Utley than to risk that production by trading him for a player who only MIGHT be good 2-3 years in the future.

        And I don’t think a “might be” player will generate the fan interest or have the clubhouse presence Utley has, either.

      • schmenkman

        July 16, 2014 at 9:44 pm

        At 35 no one is the player they used to be, but he’s still the best second baseman in the NL, and there’s a good chance he’ll continue to be among the best for at least a couple more years.

        And he seems to have learned how to manage his knees, but you’re right that they will remain a risk in many teams’ eyes, along with his age. I honestly don’t know what teams would give up.

        In any case, for anything less than a top prospect I’d rather just keep him.

  17. Brian Sr. of CO

    July 16, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Maybe the headline should read “Utley Plans on Staying, Is He Our Modern Day Schmidt?” I would rather compare him to a retired Phillie who was drafted by the team, and spent his entire career with the Phillies, than compare him to a Yankee. Maybe thats just me.

  18. Fake Billy Beane

    July 16, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Trade him.

    There’s no reason to keep him other than sentimentality.

    Guess what. That never wins any championships.

    Chase Utley has a very reasonable contract and has great trade value. Trade him for a talent like Randall Grishuk.

    thats how you rebuild.

    • schmenkman

      July 16, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      Fake Billy, I don’t know much about Grichuk, but his hitting looks comparable to Cesar Hernandez, or maybe worse. Is that enough for an OF?

      • Hogey's Role

        July 16, 2014 at 2:15 pm

        Umm I disagree, and I too don’t think grichuk is the can’t miss prospect that you trade an utley for…

  19. Keith

    July 16, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    If we would’ve had blogs and fb in 1985 would you all have been saying “trade Schmidty” he’s not doing anything anyway? Ridiculous to think some of you might have. Utley had earned the right to stay, and I say it’s great that we’d let him.

  20. psujoe

    July 16, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    I’m Ok with Keeping Utley and Rollins since there is absolutely nothing to replace them. This rebuild is going to take a long time anyway. if they can trade Lee, Papplebon, Burnett, with Adams coming off the books they clear a whopping $60.

  21. Klocky

    July 16, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Honestly, as a former player, I think Utley’s value is vast beyond his offense and defensive play. Those of you guys crying for a “fire sale”… don’t really ‘get it’. A successful team isn’t comprised of only 20th me things running amok… There has to be some cohesion in the clubhouse, an example that is both respected and formidable. If Utley is to be dealt… who will show the kids the ropes? Do you really want 25 kids acting like J-Roll? I love Jimmy… he’s been great, but his lesser apparent attitude and selfishness at times is a real drag. Quit being fair weather (post ’07) fans… we sat through terrible runs as late as early 00’s.. where Veteran leaders were of a Scott Rolen and Bobby Abreu attitudes… we don’t need more of that. Utley is the perfect example of what you want new ballplayers to be. He’s an injury-shortened 2nd base version of Mike Schmidt and deserves to be in bronze out front someday. He alone will sell tickets on a bad team… and the ladies seem to take to him well too. If there’s any rebuilding to be done… do it around him. Cole is a nice piece to trade for more value and with his attitude, good riddence!

  22. Fake Billy Beane

    July 17, 2014 at 7:00 am

    The ropes?
    Utley has earned his right to stay?

    What are you talking about?

    Utley can net the Phillies some decent prospects.
    That’s his value.

    If you guys have a man crush on Utley so be it.

    it won’t bring Phillies any closer to a championship.

    Getting as many prospects as possible is.

    • Hogey's Role

      July 17, 2014 at 9:40 am

      Decent prospects aren’t gonna provide the on field value and intangibles that utley has, does, and will….

      Trades for prospects are always a crap shoot, not to mention our track record of acquiring prospects hasn’t exactly worked out in our favor recently…

      You keep guys who will help lead and teach on your ball club, some of those guys you have to trade when it comes time and some of those guys you keep… Utley is a guy you keep, hamels and Rollins are also guys I would keep and other than papelbon I keep the rest of the bullpen. Everyone else should be available in trades

      • Fake Billy Beane

        July 17, 2014 at 10:46 am

        Hogeys Role:

        It’s a given that prospects are just that, prospects.

        But the more prospects you get into the farm system, the bigger is the chance some of them pan out.

        Lets say you could get a guy LIKE Grishuk for Utley.

        Not saying Grishuk, but someone of that caliber.

        There is a chance he’ll become a contributor on some level. And you just have to load your system with as many prospects as possible.

        If the Phillies trade away Papelbon, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Lee, Burnett and Byrd that could net them, realistically, 8-10 decent prospects. There certainly won’t be any Oscar Taverases or Kris Bryant in the return.

        But enough decent prospects to give the farm system a nice boost.

        And, before some of you go mental on me suggesting trading Howard, of course Phillies will have to eat a substantial part of his contract. Like, say 21-22 million per year. Some team would pick him up on the chance he bounces back. That could net Phillies some fringy prospect.

        A team like Tampa Bay, if they get back into the race, could use Howards bat, and if Phillies pick up enough of his contract, they can send a fringe prospect in return.

        And Utley. Yeah I get he’s popular. But there is absolutely no point in having him on a team that wont contend within the next four-five years.
        He’d be a great complimentary player for the Oakland Athletics, or most contending teams.

      • Ken Bland

        July 17, 2014 at 11:27 am

        If you polled the exsisting GMs in baseball on this question….

        Do you think the fake Billy Beane emphasizes quantity over quality too much…

        about 25 or more would say yes.

        There’s a place for the line of thinking in principal, but while they are PROSPECTS, there are prospects, and then there are PROSPECTS, and you have to take your chances that some of your projections will work. It’s not a total crapshoot.

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