Chase Utley: Is the All-Star outta here?

Chase Utley, at age 32, is showing signs of a player on the decline. The All-Star second baseman may miss Opening Day as he battles a nagging knee injury.

Game shows have less questions than those surrounding Chase Utley.  

When will the All-Star return to the Phillies’ lineup after being diagnosed with patellar tendinitis and chrondomalacia and bone inflammation in his right knee? How effective will he be when he does come back? And what exactly is Utley’s value?

“It’s not what it was two or three years ago,” a baseball executive told Metro. “Injuries have diminished his value. Part of the reason he became such a great player was because of how tough he is. He always played the game hard.

“He was never afraid to get hit by a pitch. There are a lot of hard miles on his body. Will his body bounce back? We’ll see. He has had a lot of injuries and he’s not healthy now.”

The 32-year-old will make $15 million a year through the 2013 season. Utley has had hip, hand and thumb surgery. Now, add a balky knee.

“You just wonder how much he’ll be able to play when he does come back,” the executive said. “Will he ever be able to play 140-plus games and how good will he be? He was a vital part of the Phillies’ success. Can he still be that in the future?”

Utley has driven in more than 100 runs four times, hit more than 30 home runs in a season on three occasions and owns a .293 lifetime average. Two years ago, he was named to Sports Illustrated’s All-Decade Team

“There’s no doubt that Chase is a special player,” teammate Jimmy Rollins said. “He’s a difference maker.”

But just how much of a difference will he make in 2011? After playing in just 115 games last season — the second baseman has missed 88 games over the past four seasons — it appears Utley will miss Opening Day and then some.

Let’s make a deal

Analysis:
There have been no published reports about the Phillies trading Chase Utley. But is it that absurd? At age 32, it might be the right time. Let’s take a look at a few scenarios:

1 Young and restless —Michael Young wants out, and the Rangers are willing to pay half his salary. The Phillies have reportedly asked about the All-Star third baseman. Maybe if they sweeten the pot — perhaps a package of Utley, Joe Blanton, Shane Victorino for Nelson Cruz, Michael Young and cash? It’s a steep price but could make sense, if Placido Polanco moved to second.

2 Ruffle feathers — The Phillies have made calls about the St. Louis Cardinals’ Jon Jay, a 26-year-old outfielder who batted .300 last season. He’s more of a platoon player but could emerge into an everyday starter, just as Jayson Werth. Utley straight up for Jay is a ridiculous thought, but what if the Cardinals threw in reliever Trever Miller. After all, Brad Lidge isn’t 100 percent.

3 Kansas City prime — The Royals boast the deepest and most talented prospects in MLB. It’s doubtful that they would want to get older and increase payroll by adding Utley. If they did, however, maybe the Phils could pry away an uber-prospect, such as left-handers Danny Duffy, Michael Montgomery or John Lamb. Second baseman Johnny Giavotella would be a nice throw-in.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…