Since the start of the 2013 season, everyone in the Philadelphia Phillies organization knew that Chase Utley was going to be a free agent by year’s end. Yet despite that, there seemed to be no rush on Ruben Amaro Jr.‘s end to even open up the discussion about a possible extension as the season’s early months passed by, despite the GM suggesting that Utley is a “Phillie for life.”
As a result of the silent front, Utley’s name has been at the forefront of the list of Phillies players that could find themselves new homes before the trading deadline. After all, the 34-year-old has shown he can still swing the bat pretty well and according to him, he has put the knee issues in the past as he knows how to handle them now.
The Los Angeles Dodgers (the team Utley grew up rooting for as a kid) were one of his early suitors. Another team that could look to trade for Utley is the Baltimore Orioles. The O’s could use him as depth behind a struggling Brian Roberts or as a possible DH, which might be the best route to prolonging Utley’s career.
But right now, it seems that trading the second baseman is not at the top of Amaro’s list.
According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, Amaro has reached out to Utley’s agent to discuss a contract extension. Despite the Phillies’ recent struggles and move from possible buyers to definite sellers, it seems that inking Utley to a long-term extension is the main objective at this point.
If Amaro and Utley cannot agree on a deal, then it is likely the team will trade Utley, who will be a free agent with 10-and-5 rights come August. But considering that the free agent market at second base is really limited to Utley and Robinson Cano in terms of top-level production, it makes sense as to why the Phillies would want to keep one of the few players that can still put fans in the seats.