Chase Utley wants to stay with Phillies, but would “listen” about a potential trade

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Times are changing in Philadelphia. The Phillies traded longtime shortstop Jimmy Rollins during the offseason and it’s likely just a matter of time before they cut ties with Ryan Howard and deal Cole Hamels elsewhere. But what about Chase Utley’s future with the rebuilding club?

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. said back in December that Utley would prefer to finish out his contract with the team. According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhily.com, Utley indicated today that would like to stick around, but he also left the door open for the possibility of a trade.

“Obviously I’ve said it before, I really enjoy playing with this organization,” Utley said. “They’ve done a lot for me, personally, and put together some pretty good teams over the years. So I have a lot of respect for the people making decisions. If you go back and look at 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, ’11 — they always gave us a chance to win. We’ve had some great opportunities over the years and I respect that.

“For as much respect as I have for the organization, if they ever came to me and asked me [to consider a trade], I would have to listen, but I don’t think much will change.”

Utley has full no-trade rights, so the Phillies would have to get his approval on any deal. It would likely require a situation like Rollins and the Dodgers, where it was the one place he wanted to go.

Utley, 36, batted .270/.339/.407 with 11 home runs and 78 RBI over 155 games last season. He’s owed $15 million this season with a series of vesting options from 2016-2018 which could max out at a total of $45 million.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.