Utley Doesn’t Plan on Going Anywhere

Utley Addresses His Injured KneeThe Phillies have 33 games to play before the July 31 trade deadline, which leaves plenty of time for minds to change.

But Chase Utley indicated yesterday that he does not expect to change his mind.

Utley’s name is popping up as the trade deadline approaches with the Phillies sitting below the .500 mark and in last place in the National League East. The Phillies have played better recently, but they still have plenty of work to do. In fact, if they struggle leading to the deadline, the Phillies front office could initiate a fire sale with Utley becoming an attractive piece for postseason contenders, although the club has said it has no inclination to trade him.

Utley has indicated his desire to remain in Philadelphia, but what if the team begins a long rebuilding effort?

“Well, you’re creating situations that aren’t necessarily going to happen,” Utley told MLB.com. “I guess we’d have to see at that point, but I don’t plan on going anywhere.”

Utley has 10-and-5 rights — 10 years in the Major Leagues, the last five with the same team — so he can refuse any trade at any time for any reason. He signed a $27 million contract extension last August, which could be worth as much as $75 if options are vested.

Utley said then that one reason he re-signed is because he believed the Phillies could win in the future.

“Last year, re-signing here was something I really wanted to do,” he said. “Great organization. Nothing has changed since then.

“I mean, honestly, I haven’t thought about it.”

But Utley said he still thinks the Phillies can win in the future.

“I think the mentality of trying to win will be there,” Utley said. “I think we need to make improvements as does every team in baseball.”

Utley’s comments follow ones made recently by Jimmy Rollins and Cole Hamels. Rollins, who also has 10-and-5 rights, told USA Today that the Phillies “would have to come up with a reason for me to leave. … if they tell me to go, then I got no choice. I’ll go. If you make it that clear that you don’t want me, you don’t have to tell me twice.

“I’m not going to volunteer to go anywhere. Even if somewhere else was the perfect spot, this is what I know. You weigh that against the instant gratification of winning right now. You leave, and there’s no guarantee you’re going to win anyways. You pack up to leave for a different organization, a different city, and it feels temporary.”

Asked about his desire to remain in Philadelphia should the club elect to rebuild, Hamels, who has a partial no-trade clause, told CSNPhilly.com: “Then it’s a different situation. And I think you kind of have to look at it in a different way because your careers are only so long. Your good years only last so long. You want to make them count.”

But each player has indicated he wants to stay.

4 Comments

OK then. Utley, Rollins and Hamels stay. Let’s rebuild aound trading Revere, Mayberry, Brown, Bastardo, Papelbon, Asche, Nieves, Aumont, Wolver, Green, Manual, Amaro and the Phanatic. And a season supply of foul line chalk for Monty.
New bumper sticker…2020, Worth the Wait!

I don’t think they SHOULD trade any of them, because unless I am missing something, they have no obvious replacement. Only trade them if you get Grade-A minor league talent that can replace them. But in general, the infield is almost the best part of this team right now. They need to totally replace the outfield THIS year, and have a plan to replace the infield in coming years, as these guys get older and can’t produce. Still not 100% sold on Ashe, but if there were better hitters (ie outfield) in the lineup, maybe he’d start playing better too.

Ruin should have been replacing the outfield over the last four or five years. Oh! That’s right, he was too busy replacing the bullpen. Multi-tasking is not Ruin’s strong suit.

Utley led off that comedy of Errors in the 8th last night – easy grounder right at him, threw it in the dirt. Howard doesn’t stretch AT ALL, and an easy short hop eludes him. Chooch fires to second to gun down a base stealer, but neither Rollins nor Utley is covering. Bastardo buchers a sac bunt to refuse an out the other team wants to give us. Then Domonic pulls up on a fly ball he wouldn’t even have had to dive to catch (even though he was only jogging in to catch it) – the ball hit the ground three feet in front of his feet. The runner on thrid jogged home. We are watching the ’62 Mets, ladies and gentlemen – and the beat writers and the front office all think we should be buyers. Great. Remember 2008 well, because it will be another ten years before this team challenges for the pennant again. ’80 – ’93 – ’08 – ’22? ’23? ’24?

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