Given the Phillies’ sub-par performance this season and their aging core, second baseman Chase Utley has seen his name pop up in trade talks fairly frequently. However, the lifetime Phillie tells Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that he has little interest in waiving his 10-and-5 rights (10 years of Major League service and five with his current team) that allow him to veto any trade to another team.
Asked about the possibility of waiving those rights in the event of a lengthy Phillies rebuild, Utley replied: “Well, you’re creating situations that aren’t necessarily going to happen. I guess we’d have to see at that point, but I don’t plan on going anywhere.”
A lengthy rebuild appears unlikely for the Phillies so long as Ruben Amaro Jr. is at the helm, as the GM himself told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports less than one month ago: “I don’t know if we’ll completely ‘sell’ ever. We can revamp, but we can’t completely sell out. We have to have a contending team in 2015 or ’16 — or at least a competitive team.”
Utley recognizes that the Phillies need to make improvements to win, though he also noted that every team in MLB could stand to make improvements in some capacity. He feels the Phillies can win in the future, and tells Zolecki that belief is one of the reasons he elected to sign a two-year, $27MM extension with a trio of vesting options that could make the deal worth $75MM.
The 35-year-old Utley is in the midst of yet another a fine season at the plate, slashing .295/.357/.456 with five homers in 314 plate appearances. He’s remained healthy this season, which is good news for his financial future; Utley has a clause in his contract that boosts his 2015 salary from $10MM to $15MM if he spends 15 days or less on the DL with a knee injury in 2014.