Wednesday, August 7, 2013

PHILLIES: Utley, Phils agree to extension. He's here to stay

August 7, 2013

By Nick Tricome

Chase Utley got the night off for Wednesday's game against the Cubs, and this might be the reason why.

Utley has reportedly agreed to a contract extension with the Phillies, according to's Jim Salisbury (via Twitter).

The 34-year old second baseman has played all 11 seasons of his Major League career in Philadephia and now it looks like any future seasons he has left will be in Philadelphia as well.

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal has reported some of the early details:
"The Phillies are close to signing Utley to a two-year extension with multiple vesting options, according to major-league sources. The total guaranteed money in the deal will be in the “high 20s,” one source said — between $25 million and $30 million.
Utley, who will turn 35 on Dec. 17, is in the final year of a seven-year, $85 million contract. His extension would be for 2014 and '15 — and possibly beyond if he stays healthy, sources said."
Utley is a career .287 hitter, with 214 home runs, 781 RBIs and a .873 on-base plus slugging percentage in 1275 games.

This season, he is hitting .275, with 15 home runs, 42 RBIs and a .841 OPS in 83 games.

Utley has struggled with knee issues over the past couple of years, which have kept him to 103 games played in 2011 and just 83 games played in 2012. He also had surgery on his right thumb in 2010, which held him to 115 games played that year.

This season, however, has been much better for Utley. His knees haven't been an issue and the only injury he had was a right oblique strain in May, granted, he did miss 28 games with the injury.

At the start of the season, it looked like it was very possible that Utley would be playing in his last season as a Phillie.

The trade deadline seemed like an ideal time for Utley's depature, because the Phillies could at least get something in return for him, rather then letting him walk for free agency at the end of the season.

But as the trade deadline approached, it looked more and more likely that Utley would stay put until the end of the year, at least, especially with general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. referring to him as a "Phillie for life."

And so the trade deadline came and went with Utley still on the Phillies' roster.

Now he'll stick around with the team that drafted him out of UCLA back in 2000 for a couple more years.

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