In a matter of weeks, Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley went from being the subject of trade rumors to a guy the team wants to pay upward of $25 million for two more years, according to reports.
Two Phillies beat writers — Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia and Todd Zolecki of MLB.com — are saying a deal is in place to extend Utley's contract for two more seasons. He was due to be a free agent after this year. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports adds that the contract is worth between $25 million and $30 million with multiple vesting options.
That's good news for Utley, 34, who recently said he preferred to wear a Phillies jersey from life. From Zolecki's report:
Utley told MLB.com just before the All-Star break last month, “I’ve never envisioned wearing another team’s uniform. And I know there’s a lot of speculation, but I still haven’t … that still hasn’t changed over the last month. I’ve talked to Ruben. I’ve told him what I think about the organization and city of Philly. That’s kind of where we’re at.”
Utley's a five-time All-Star with some stellar seasons in Philadelphia. From 2005-2008, he drove in at least 100 runs each year and averaged 28 homers. His bright career, however, has been derailed because of injuries.
Since 2010, he hasn't played in more than 115 games — with only 83 last season. Already this year, he's matched that, playing in 83 of the Phillies' 112 games and he's on pace for his best season since 2009. He's hitting .275/.336/.505 with 15 homers and 42 RBIs.