Phillies GM Ruben Amaro spoke to the media on Friday afternoon after the Jimmy Rollins trade was finally made official. Naturally, Amaro was asked about the possibility of trading second baseman Chase Utley as the team moves forward in its rebuilding process. According to Amaro, Utley still wants to finish out his contract in Philadelphia.
“I haven’t had enough of a discussion with Chase,” Amaro said. “The only discussions I’ve had with Chase and his agent about any of that is that Chase wants to be in Philadelphia. And so, we work through our offseason knowing Chase Utley will be in Philadelphia and be a Philadelphia Phillie. I don’t necessarily see that changing. Is it possible it changes? Maybe. But, again, regardless of that, we have to be listeners and think about ways to improve our club long term. Chase may or may not be a part of that. But right now Chase is a Philadelphia Phillie and he’s not going to go anywhere. He has no desire to go anywhere. Like I said before, he wants to honor his contract and that’s how we have to perceive it.”
Of course, Rollins sang a similar tune previously, also saying that he planned to finish out his contract with the Phillies. Utley’s tune may change as well, having lost his long-time double play partner. Utley released a statement following the Rollins trade, saying, “The team will miss his leadership on the field and his infectious smile, but most of all, I will miss our pre-game handshake.”
If the Phillies found a trade partner, they would still need to get approval from Utley, who has 10-and-5 rights.
Along with Utley, the Phillies could still explore trades involving Marlon Byrd and Cole Hamels. If they find teams desperate enough, they could even move Jonathan Papelbon or Ryan Howard.