Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 7/29/13
The Phillies are attempting to extend second baseman Chase Utley as opposed to trading him at this week's trade deadline. The 34-year old Utley is going to be a free agent at the end of the season, and Phillies GM Ruben Amaro said that he envisions Utley as a Phillie for life. On the surface, a contract extension for Utley seems silly. In recent years, he's had injuries to both of his knees, as well as to his ribs and his right thumb. The Phillies already have several large, ugly contracts on the books for next season, so why would they throw Utley's on top of the pile? 2013 will likely end up being Utley's best season since 2010 after he missed 138 games in 2011 and 2012. He's also going to be part of a crowded free agent class at second base after the season, along with Robinson Cano, Kelly Johnson, and Omar Infante. With multiple options on the table, Utley could end up getting a lesser contract than if he were the cream of the second base crop, which would be a bargain for the Phillies. But when considering extending Utley, you need to look beyond this offseason. The free agent crop at second base after the 2014 season is absolutely pitiful, highlighted by Emilio Bonifacio (who isn't even a second baseman) and Rickie Weeks (unless his option for 2015 vests). If the Phillies sign Utley to a two or three year extension, any teams that would be interested in him at the trade deadline next season would be bidding on a player that is a year older, but one that has more than two months of control attached to him and is a better option than any other player they would be able to grab in the free agent market. Trading players is a gamble. The Padres could have cashed in on Chase Headley last summer or winter when he was in the midst of a top five MVP season, but didn't, and his offensive numbers have fallen across the board this year. The Twins never traded Justin Morneau when his value was at its peak, and his value is in the gutter heading into free agency. At the same time, the Astros held out on dealing Bud Norris this winter, and he's one of the sexier names on the starting pitching market, and Matt Garza got the Cubs a pretty good return after he got hurt near the deadline last year and his value fell. Utley could stay healthy over the last two months, put together an incredible second half, and head into 2014 looking like the Chase Utley of old. He could also get hurt again and be a sunk cost just like his partner on the right side of the Phillies infield, Ryan Howard. I don't think giving Utley an extension is the worst thing that Amaro can do, but he needs to keep an open mind regarding his second baseman. If Utley remains a Phillie through the year and gets that extension, he'll earn his 10 and 5 rights and can essentially shut down any attempt by Amaro to move him. If a team is offering the Phillies a worthy bounty for Utley, I'd probably jump all over it right now. But if the offers are underwhelming, it wouldn't be a disaster if the Phillies hung on to him for the next two or three seasons. [follow]
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Auburn legend Bo Jackson using Heisman vote for Alabama star

Gronk: Tom Brady doesn't age, seems like he's in his 20s

Cam Newton says Greg Hardy was a 'great teammate'

Ohio State plans to end Mirror Lake jump tradition after death

WATCH: Jason Kidd ejected for swiping ball out of ref's hands

Brad Stevens: Celtics had 'real conversations' after loss to Hawks


Les Miles unsure about his future at LSU

Saban will not rule out Kenyan Drake for Iron Bowl

Andre Drummond responds to Khris Middleton saying he doesn’t like contact

Lacking Jazz: Why Utah’s offense has struggled this season

Magic to bench Victor Oladipo, start Channing Frye

10 unheralded NFL players set to make a major impact in Week 12

LeBron James, James Jones lead players-only meeting after loss

Brady: Few have more respect for Peyton Manning than me

WATCH: Marcus Foligno flips Carter Hutton

Blaine Gabbert was only person at his press conference

Report: Alabama DC Kirby Smart a front-runner for South Carolina job

Kristaps Porzingis really wants to meet Turtle from ‘Entourage’

Top storyline for each Week 12 NFL game

WATCH: Ref injures Yakupov's leg by pulling him down

Ryan Fitzpatrick shaves beard to ‘switch up the mojo’

Bedlam is bigger than ever, but which team will be better than ever?

5 outrageous predictions for Week 12 of the NFL season

How the Detroit Lions became the face of football on Thanksgiving Day

The 10 most disappointed fan bases of the 2015 college football season

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top storyline for each Week 12 NFL game

Top 10 matchups for Week 12 of the NFL season

The 10 most disappointed fan bases of the 2015 CFB season

Gronk: Takes mental toughness not to overeat on Thanksgiving

Blue Jays fans create website in effort to keep David Price

The five most overrated teams in the Week 13 coaches' poll

10 storylines for Week 13 of the college football season

Ranking the 10 best games of 2015 college football rivalry week

Examining the Mavericks' hot start

Johnny Bench(ed): Manziel demoted to third string

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker