There’s no doubt that most of us would love to see Chase Utley finish his career as a Phillie. There’s a certain sentimentality that goes along with his existence in Philadephia. World Fucking Champions is easily the greatest thing ever said by someone wearing a black knit hat on a mild October day. But… does anyone else get the sense that Ruben Amaro is going to do something really silly like pay Utley $48 million over four years?
This morning, Jim Salisbury asked his Magic 8 Ball if the Phillies would re-sign the great Utley. All signs point to yes*: [CSN Philly]
• A person with knowledge of the situation says the Phillies have had recent talks with Utley’s representation about a contract extension.
• Word in well-placed baseball circles is that the Phillies are not listening to trade offers for Utley.
• The decision to broaden second-base prospect Cesar Hernandez’ utility skills by having him play some outfield shouldn’t be underestimated, especially upon further review of the comment that GM Ruben Amaro Jr. made to CSNPhilly.com on Sunday.
“If we’re fortunate enough to keep Chase in our uniform, which we hope to do, Cesar becomes a utility piece,” Amaro said Sunday.
• Amaro, the man who has said he wants to make Utley a Phillie for life, and Utley, who as far back as spring training said he’d like to stay with the club, have recently been spotted huddling for private conversations at the ballpark.
Bet they’re not talking about sushi restaurants, though there is a good one right around the corner from Busch Stadium if this hunch proves to be a whole lot of bunk.
So that of course led to other scriptuals speculating as the length of width of a potential Chase Utley contract extension handed out by the silliest man in sports, Ruben Amaro Jr. Wordsmith David Murphy has an estimate:
What would a Chase Utley contract extension look like? Try three years and $45 million. The breakdown: http://t.co/IaREt6CAgA
— David Murphy (@ByDavidMurphy) July 25, 2013
That’s too much.
Look, Utley is having his best season since 2009. Not coincidentally, 2009 was also the last time Utley played more than 115 games in a season (he should end up around 120-130 this season). Injuries in four consecutive seasons from ages 31-34 is not a fluke. Utley in injury prone and he has bad knees. And though he was never a great fielder, he was always a playmaker, but even that’s no longer the case (see: this). I’d love to see the Phils sign Utley to a two- or three-year deal for between $15-$21 million. But that’s not going to happen. He’ll get more, and if Amaro, whose hands are tied and heart’s not free, is involved, Utley will likely get a lot more.
So as hard as it may be, it might be time to turn around and walk away from Chase… pretending we don’t love him.
Poets, they were:
*Salisbury also noted that the Phillies had an Utley ad on their website promoting the next homestand and will give away a Chase Utley poster as well. I think he’s radically overestimating the communication between the front office and the freelance graphics guy who works in cubicle 98 D.