Found July 17, 2013 on MLB Injury News:
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With the Philadelphia Phillies at the .500 mark at the All-Star break, there has been much talk as to whether the Phillies should buy, sell or a combination of both before the July 31 trade deadline.  One player often named in trade rumors is second baseman Chase Utley.  Phillies' general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has recently stated that he pictures Utley as a "Phillie for life".  But will that and should that be the case? There's no secret that Utley is a fan favorite and is revered highly in the organization.  It's also no secret that Utley's contract runs out at the end of this season and the past few seasons have been marred with knee injuries, and Utley had not produced like the Utley of old. Of course, at 34 years old, can anyone expect him to play like he did in his prime? But this season, Utley has rebounded somewhat. His 11 home runs in 67 games matches the total in 2012 and 2011, in 83 and 103 games, respectively. His batting average is his highest since 2010, slugging percentage highest since 2009 and ops highest since 2010.  One thing that cannot be measured in statistics is his hustle, determination and presence in the clubhouse.  Utley, a five time All-Star and a key to the Phillies World Series winning team in 2008,  wants to remain with the Phillies. He has made that very clear and said he cannot "envision wearing another team's uniform." With the Phillies winning their last 4 series, they have put themselves in the position of being in the mix when talking about a possible playoff spot. The National League East is not strong and they are only 6 1/2 games behind Atlanta and 5 behind the Cincinnati Reds for the second wild card birth.  Surely, much has to go right for the Phillies to make the post season, but they are in the mix and Ruben Amaro owes it to the organization and the fans to make an attempt to acquire the pieces necessary to make a run. That includes keeping the heart and soul of the team, Chase Utley. The question then remains as to what to do with Utley following the season.  The Phillies really don't have anyone ready and proven to play second base at the Major League level. Yes, defensively Freddy Galvis is excellent, but he has been weak with the bat and is not ready for full time play simply for that reason. He is still only 24 years old and has time to develop offensively.  Rookie Cesar Hernandez has a lot of potential, but is just 23 years old and has only 28 Major League at bats. Chase Utley is a career .287 hitter with 210 home runs, 769 runs batted in, .500 slugging percentage and .873 ops. He also has an incredible stolen base percentage of 88.9% with 128 stolen bases against 16 caught stealing.  I think Utley has at least 2 very good offensive years left in him, barring any injury setback, so the Phillies should resign him to a 2 year contract. That gives Galvis and Hernandez time to improve their game and spell Utley. Hopefully the Phillies do the right thing and allow Utley, one of the most beloved players the Phillies have had in recent memory, to finish his career with the Phillies.
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