Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley will become a free agent at season's end, which has brought about several midseason trade rumors involving the veteran star.
UPDATE: Tuesday, July 30, by Brandon Galvin
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman has the latest on Chase Utley:
Chase Utley is unavailable -- at least at the moment.
Two general managers with interest in the Phillies star say the Phillies have informed them that Utley isn't going anywhere.
The Phillies are trying to sign Utley to an extension, as they consider him their 'franchise player,' and there's hope it can get done since Utley is said to love the Phillies. While Philadephia is listening on other star players -- including Cliff Lee -- they are apparently focusing today only an extension for Utley.
UPDATE: Sunday, July 28, by Brandon Galvin
ESPN's Buster Olney has the latest on Chase Utley:
There is no indication yet in the market that the Phillies are aggressively taking offers for Utley in case extension is not worked out.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 28, 2013
UPDATE: Saturday, July 27 by Ian Hanford
FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi has the latest on Utley:
Utley told me Friday that he’s had a lot of conversations recently with Amaro, in which he has made clear how he feels about the city and organization. It’s believed that a contract extension remains possible — but so is a trade, in the event a new deal can’t be reached. Oakland, which could benefit from an offensive upgrade at second base, is one potential suitor.
When asked if he’ll still be wearing a Philadelphia uniform on Aug. 1, Utley said, “We’ll see.”
According to CBS Sports' baseball insider Jon Heyman, the Los Angeles Dodgers could have interest in Utley, who has played for the Phillies for his entire MLB career, but it remains unknown whether the club has contacted Philadelphia regarding a potential trade.
Heyman also mentions the Oakland A's, Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles as potential trade destinations, adding that Utley has the power to block trades to 21 different teams according to Cot's Baseball Contracts.
While Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro hasn't expressed any desire to move Utley this season, Philadelphia is already 9.5 games back of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East and Utley has some serious L.A. roots that cannot be ignored.
A native of Pasadena, Calif., Utley grew up in Long Beach, starring at Long Beach Polytechnic High School before moving on to UCLA to play college baseball.
The latest from Amaro suggests that the Phillies prefer to keep Utley, but that there are no guarantees at this point (via CBS Sports' Danny Knobler):
He's been an iconic player for us, my intention would be to keep him in our uniform for the rest of his career, if possible. I kind of view Chase as a Phillie for life. That's my hope.
Utley is currently in the midst of his 11th season in the bigs and has played in over 1,200 games for the Phillies dating back to 2003. He's appeared in over 50 games for Philadelphia this season, and is batting .284 with 11 home runs and 30 RBI.
The 34-year-old is a five-time MLB All-Star and a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He even helped Philadelphia win its second World Series title in 2008.
Utley's seven-year, $85 million deal with Philadelphia expires at the end of the season which means the Phillies risk losing him to free agency this coming fall.