Chase Utley Risked $27 Million When He Killed Dioner Navarro Last Night

Kyle Scott - August 8, 2013

Chase Utley, you truly are, the man.

When Chase Utley killed Dioner Navarro on an Utley-induced collision at that plate last night, little did we know that Utley’s two-year, $27 million (plus a ton of vesting options) contract had not been signed yet and, perhaps more telling, that Utley wasn’t set to take his physical until this morning.

If you watch that GIF over and over and over and over and over again (the way I have for the last four hours), you’ll see Utley’s left knee curl up into his midsection like a shy kangaroo. But Chase didn’t care. There was a meaningless game to be won lost. $27 million risk be damned.*

And it may have been more than $27 million that Utley risked. Once again, the bow tie man himself, little witty bitty baby Ken Rosenthal:

Chase Utley’s new two-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies is worth $27 million. But if the second baseman stays healthy, he can max out at five years, $75 million, according to major-league sources.

Utley, who turns 35 on Dec. 17, received three vesting options, each worth $15 million, on top of his two guaranteed years, sources said. Each of his options will vest at 500 plate appearances, a figure that Utley has not exceeded since 2009.

The formula for Utley’s vesting options is straightforward: He needs to reach 500 plate appearances in 2015 to guarantee himself a $15 million salary in ’16. The same math applies in ’16 and ’17, when Utley will be 39.

If Utley falls short of 500 plate appearances in any of those seasons, his option would revert to a conditional club option, sources said. The value of those options would range from $5 million to $11 million, depending upon how many days he spent on the disabled list the previous season.

That’s a substantial (and frightening) amount of money. But, only one second baseman over 35 has amassed aver 500 at-bats in a season since 2007– Marco Scutaro. In theory, if Chase were to play that much, he would be pretty damn productive… or the Phillies would continue to have no depth. One or the other.

Anyway, Chase Utley is the man.

*If that were me, I would have performed a passive skip around the bases to A) denote euphoria and B) avoid posing any threat to would-be taggers. Just me, skipping along. Nothing to see here. Of course, this might be why Chase Utley just signed a $27 million contract to play baseball and I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet today.


  • faith August 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    jstroll would of started looking for the bat boy to bring out his glove and hat half way up the third baseline if he was in utleys shoes last night…..gotta love chase

    • tone August 9, 2013 at 9:16 am

      *would HAVE

      There’s no such thing as would of, should of, or could of.

  • Junkhead August 8, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    That was our future manager who waived Utley home, getting yet another runner thrown out at the plate and nearly derailing Utley’s career.
    Keep up the good work, Ryno!

  • Andy Schreiber August 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Yet another reason why we all love Chase.

    And the contract he signed is *very* team-friendly. I sincerely hope he gets every last penny (which would mean that he is playing & productive for a long time).

    Now if Darin Ruf could just play every day here for a long time. Don’t look now, but Ruf leads the team in OBP & OPS. (Nothing against Howard, but it’s too bad Ruf can’t just start @ 1st base.) Brown, Ruf, and Asche might just be one heck of a youth movement for the Phils!

    • Oh Really August 8, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      In what sport is a 27 year old part of a youth movement? Shuffleboard?

      • Andy Schreiber August 8, 2013 at 5:55 pm

        On this roster? It qualifies. He is on the correct side of 30.

  • Yes Really August 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Utley, Rollins, Howard – all 29 in 2007

    • No Really No August 8, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      2007, that’s great but you’re missing the point. Rollins was 21 when he came up. Utley and Howard were 24. ’07 was Rollins 7th year in MLB. Don’t act like a 27 year old midseason call up is part of a youth movement and not a future fat journeyman.

  • Andy Schreiber August 8, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    All three of these guys (Brown, Ruf, and Asche) are on the right side of 30 and not costing much, salary-wise. That is a great combination.

    Could be a winning combination too.

    Still think Ruf should be in LF if he isn’t going to see time at 1st base.

  • Michael Martinez August 8, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Hey! Don’t forget about me!

    • Riley Cooper August 9, 2013 at 9:34 am

      Go mow my lawn and then clean my pool.

  • Pete Rose August 9, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Anyone notice that if he slides…he’s safe??????

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * is owned and operated by CB Sports LLC and a partner of USA Today Sports Digital Properties