Chase Utley and the Phillies have been discussing deals for three years or two years plus a vesting option for a third that would pay him in the neighborhood of $13 million a year, sources said.
Phillies believe love Utley and what he means to the team, referring to him as their “franchise” player. Like Beltran, he has chronic knee issues but performed through them. Utley, 34, is hitting .277 with 13 home runs and 36 RBI.
There goes that franchise tag again. Still don’t see how the Phillies can apply that term to Utley at this point in his career. But a deal for two years, $26-$30 million would be just fine by me. It’s the 3-4 years, $40-$50 million possibility that worries me. Basically, I have no faith in Ruben Amaro at this point. Part of me is still waiting for him to call up Pedro Martinez for the stretch run.
And a reason why they probably won’t trade Cliff Lee. Also from Heyman:
Lee appeared too be looking forward to a trade to a contender, and was ready to waive his no-trade to the Red Sox, if a deal materialized there. However, the reality is that unless the Phillies drastically drop their asking price, he will stay in Philly. Lee has a 21-team no-trade list but that appears to be no impediment.
There’s a chance he could clear waivers meaning he could be an August trade, but the price still would have to drop. Last summer he was claimed by the big-spending Dodgers, but they appear well set in their rotation for now.