Utley, Amaro Quiet on Extension Talks

Utley's DefenseRuben Amaro Jr. barely broke stride at Busch Stadium this afternoon, when a reporter asked if he had a moment to talk.

“I can’t,” he said. “I’m busy today.”

He spoke later, but Amaro is probably busy with plenty of things, considering the Trade Deadline is next Wednesday and the Phillies entered tonight’s series finale against the Cardinals with a four-game losing streak. But CSNPhilly.com also reported Amaro has been talking with Chase Utley about a contract extension, which seems more likely to happen than not at this point.

“Come on, you know me,” said Utley, when asked about any negotiations.

“We don’t talk about those things,” Amaro echoed later.

But asked if he expects Utley to be in a Phillies uniform beyond Wednesday’s Trade Deadline, Amaro said, “Oh, I think so.”

Utley spoke with MLB.com about his future with the Phillies just before the All-Star break. He said then he would open to negotiations during the season.

“I think we have a good relationship,” he said. “We understand each other. Whatever is best is best, if that makes sense.”

He also expressed his desire to remain in Philadelphia.

“I’ve never envisioned wearing another team’s uniform,” he said. “And I know there’s a lot of speculation, but I still haven’t … that still hasn’t changed over the last month. I’ve talked to Ruben. I’ve told him what I think about the organization and city of Philly. That’s kind of where we’re at. … Obviously winning is an important part of what I want to do with my future. But I think there definitely are some pieces in this room that can win.”

Utley entered tonight’s game hitting .286 with 16 doubles, four triples, 13 home runs, 36 RBIs, a .520 slugging percentage and .866 OPS. He has not had a higher slugging percentage since 2008 (.535). He has not had a higher OPS than 2009 (.905).

He also is considered a team leader in the clubhouse, a presence this clubhouse cannot afford to lose.

And while Utley has battled chronically injured knees in recent seasons, they have not been an issue this year. Utley said a couple weeks ago he thinks he has those problems under control, pointing to his offensive production as proof.

There are plenty of reasons to believe an extension will happen, and possibly soon. The Phillies could be sellers before the Trade Deadline, but announce an extension to Utley to show the fan base there will not be an extended rebuilding process and they will try to win as early as 2014. They did something similar last July with left-hander Cole Hamels.

But even if nothing materializes soon, folks in the organization believe there is a strong enough desire by both parties to continue this relationship beyond this season.

9 Comments

I agree that he should stay. Leadership is one thing. Everyone harps on “get younger, get younger” but the real goal is to get /better/ and there is no better option available to this team at second than him.

Everyone loves Chase, it would be stupid to kick Roger Daltry out of the Who when he is still helping them pack stadiums with fans, sell albums that are 40 years old, and generate tons of social media revenue, even if he can’t hit the bone-rattling high shrill notes like he used to (“Won’t Get Fooled Again”)… same with Chase. “Chase Utely, you are THE MAN!!” (If Harry said so, it MUST be true.) I wouldnt trade him for Brandon Phillips, even up. I wouldnt even trade him for Robinson Cano even up. He is our Phillie, he will be on the Phillies Mt Rushmore one day.

Utley doesn’t appear to be packing CBP with fans. He missed 185 games between 2010 and 2012. He has missed about 30 games this year so far. The Phillies should offer him about $16 million for two years.

you wouldn’t trade robinson cano for chase utley, are you for real. there must be something with you an utley beside liking his baseball ability. do you have a full size picture of him in your bedroom and lye there wacking it every night looking at chase. maybe you should change your name from karl to karla

Do you think Lee being scratched from the Saturday start might suggest a trade is imminent?

We can only hope so.

Do you think the signing of the Cuban for $48 million for 6 years might have something to do with it? Even a putz like Ruin should be able to save $48 million on Lee’s contract to pay for the Cuban. The only remaining factor is the quality of the prospects the Phillies might receive for Lee. Not exactly Ruin’s strong suit.

you think the phils are bad now? Imagine how bad they would be without Utley or Lee. You really thing a bunch of mid level A ball prospects is best for the future? Because that is all they will get in this trade market.

Some Phillies fans have already drank the Kool-Aid. If you are telling me you would not trade Cano for Utley….wow!!!

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