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What If Chase Utley Has Already Played His Final Game in Philadelphia as a Phillie?

Jul 19, 2013, 9:46 AM EDT

source:  There’s finally some baseball on tonight to give us something to talk about other than pro wrestling, advanced hockey stats, Justin Bieber moms, and Merrill Reese rapping. The Phillies are in action up in New York to kick off a pivotal nine-game road swing that will take them from the Big Apple through St. Louis and finish up in bankrupt Detroit.

Phillies scribe Jim Salisbury laid out all of the story lines surrounding this team at a final crossroads which you should read.

A snippet on the buy or sell conundrum:

But at 6 1/2 games back in the NL East and 5 1/2 back in the wild card — with 66 to play — there’s no giving up just yet.

There might not be any serious buying-in — as in going out and buying talent — but there’s no giving up, not at least for another 10 days. The Phils have nine games to convince management to stay in it. As we said, it won’t be easy. The first three games come against a fresh Mets team with All-Star ace Matt Harvey set to pitch on Sunday. After that, the Phils have three games at NL Central-leader St. Louis and three at AL Central-leading Detroit. That tough bit of scheduling will take the Phils to July 29. That’s an off day in the schedule, but it won’t be an off day for management. You can bet that Ruben Amaro Jr., who for weeks has been deep in trade discussions, has two files going in his laptop, one marked “sell,” the other marked “buy.” July 29 figures to be the day he puts one of those plans to work.

Which got me thinking… the Phillies only actually have one game at Citizens Bank Park before the 4:00 pm July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The July 30th date with the San Francisco Giants.

Obviously, if the next nine days go very poorly for the Phils, Ruben Amaro Jr. could opt to trade everyone. It’s always tough in the immediate term to see longtime fan favorites get traded ala Shane Victorino last season, but nothing would signify the end of the Phillies WFC Era as much as a trade of Chase Utley. It could happen.

If the Phils flounder over the next week, and Ruben gets an offer for Utley he can’t refuse or has the framework of a an enticing deal in place on the 30th, it’s certainly possible he could hold Chase out of that July 30th game.

If that were to happen, we’d have already seen Chase Utley’s final game as a Philadelphia Phillie at Citizens Bank Park.

It’s weird just to even think about. But it’s possible.

>>One Final Run [CSN]

  1. Andy Schreiber - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    No chance.

    Just don’t see it happening.

    Reply
  2. Nick - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    I am still under the opinion that you can’t trade Utley. Unless a team knocks your socks off for a deal, Utley is the one player you can’t trade. He means to much to this city to just let him go.

    Remember what happened with Brian Dawkins. The Eagles let Dawk walk, and had zero replacement for him. We still don’t have a competent safety. Who takes over for Utley if we trade him? The Phillies have no up and coming second baseman (please don’t sell me Hernandez as a replacement). Also, I can’t imagine any team giving us top notch players in return for a mid-30s player at the end of his contract. Look at all the players the Phillies traded to get Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt. None of those “prospects” have done anything yet in the majors. Lee, Halladay and Oswalt were all far better players than Utley is right now.

    I say unload Lee and Papelbon. Sign Utley to a two year extension and try and give it a go next year.

    Reply
    • Mick - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:29 AM

      Selling Utley means you’re done for the season. They call up Galvis and finish the year out there. Of course if Utley goes, anyone can go (i.e., Lee, Papelbon, Ruiz, Rollins, M.Young, the works).

      Reply
      • Nick - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:35 AM

        I’m not sure where you’re going with this. My point is why trade Utley. What value are you actually getting back? What are the chances the Phillies trade Utley and receive a “prospect” who can turn into an everyday starting player or a top 3 rotation pitcher? Very slim. If you don’t get value back for Utley, why trade him? I have heard way to many Philly fans who assume that Utley is going to get you this amazing haul of prospects. Unfortunately, GM’s are not this foolish (at least not anymore). More likely, the Phillies would get average players in return, like they did for Victorino last season.

        You can also signal your done for the season by unloading Lee and Papelbon. Obviously, without your ACE and CLOSER, it’s hard to be a contender.

      • Mick - Jul 19, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        @Nick – What I mean by trading Utley is that once you go down that road and commit to moving such a pivotal piece of your organization, there’s no going back. Like you said, you may not be getting equal value in prospects or talent, but it would be putting Utley on a contending team and a good shot at another championship.

        Sentimental reasons for keeping him will not come into play. True, he means a lot to the city, but that has no bearing on what he can bring you or what the organization is doing for the player. This is an age of free agency, out of control player salaries and overal league parity. The Phillies will do the best by Utley and not send him to a dog like San Diego or Florida, but rather a team in the mix and let him earn his shot somewhere else. The fans of Philadelphia will be left with great memories of a player in his youth and prime along with the hope of its current roster.

      • docdeath20 - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:25 AM

        Need to sell them all and get back Major League ready talent not potential talent. Utley who we love is a FA at the end of the year, Dodgers need him and have a excellent CF player and a pitcher for the pen, someone mention names on another site. Micheal Young could get you bull pen help and a right fielder. Delmont Young the same get rid of these guys now because we aren’t good enough we all just saw our so called 2 stud left handed aces get nailed by a mediocre at best line up.

    • lahoe819 - Jul 19, 2013 at 9:00 PM

      Cosart, the pitcher we gave up in the Pence deal, just started last week for HOU and threw 8.1 innings with like 2 hits against the red hot Rays… they sent him right back down but still… reaaallllyyyy hating that trade now

      Reply
  3. Brian - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Chase will not be traded. Not gonna happen…

    Reply
  4. Lance - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Agree with only trading Utley for a fantastic offer but keep in mind moving Lee also creates quite a hole – we have no front-end starter prospects above Watson in A ball (hoping Biddle and Morgan will at least be #3 type quality) and to get quality prospects (and I obviously don’t trust the phillies at scouting other team’s prospects) we would have to eat some salary. We run the risk of Lee declining like Halladay should we keep him but then again he doesn’t have as much wear-and-tear. The Rangers are also hot on Garza which takes away a suitor. Best possible move is to trade Michael Young (to the sox who have the best farm chips) and eat the rest of his salary to obtain a decent prospect, then plug Frandsen in.

    Reply
    • Hiccup - Jul 20, 2013 at 4:13 PM

      The Phillies ( Rubes & Co. ) are trying to trade Lee, Wheels, and the Phanatic for an upgrade on the locker room staff and the front ticket office. Rubes is apparently unconcerned with the bullpen or bench because with Ryan Sandberg replacing Manual replacing Dubee replacing Gross replacing… He feels there is no need to look outside the box. Unfortunately the Phanatic has a full no trade clause preventing the team from trading him to any non domed stadium or Florida so he stays so the Phil’s are considering sending Young and Young back to where they came from, no questions asked and feelers are out testing a possible aquisition of both Derek Jeter and Alex Rodregious for the entire starting line up and all broadcast booths.Should be an interesting deadline this year and an eventful remainder of the season. See you at the playoffs.

      Reply
  5. Liz - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Fans would be pissed for sure!

    Reply
  6. DLo34 - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Absolutely not. They can lose 9 straight and he will not be traded. No proven/quality replacement for him, he is still effective in the lineup (hence why folks want to trade for him), and he walks on water in Philly. He’ll sign a two year deal in the off-season with a vesting third year option based upon at bats or games played.

    Reply
  7. WeaponX20 - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    This would hurt almost as bad as the Eagles letting Dawk walk.

    Reply
  8. Mike - Jul 21, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Consider this, Utley is a free agent after this season. Are the Phillies willing to give him more years? Is Utley willing to take a pay cut? The answer is a No, so if he is not traded, you lose him for free this off season anyhow.

    Reply
  9. bacardipr05 - Jul 21, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    If they are .500 or under at the trade line they should sell.

    Reply

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