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

Judge holds Amber Hellesten for trial on murder…

Amber Hellesten turns 16 next Wednesday, April 30. It could be her first of many birthdays behind bars.

National

University of New Mexico running back arrested for…

By Joseph J. KolbALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (Reuters) - A University of New Mexico football player has been arrested on suspicion of raping and kidnapping a…

National

Teen who stowed away on flight to Hawaii…

By Alex Dobuzinskis(Reuters) - A teenage boy who stowed away on a flight from California to Hawaii in the frozen, oxygen-deprived wheel well of a…

Money

Investing is easier than you think

Easy investing: Everything you need to know about investing, you already do.

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

The Word

What we learned from the premiere of 'True…

Does watching someone's marriage implode make for great TV? The show runners at "True Tori" think Tori Spelling's heartbreak is hot stuff indeed.

NHL

Lundqvist, Rangers take control as Flyers falter in…

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist turned away 31 Flyers shots to give the Blueshirts the series edge with a 4-1 victory Tuesday nigh

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

MLB

Metro one-on-one: Q&A with Phillies centerfielder Ben Revere

Charlie Manuel used to say that the Phillies go as Jimmy Rollins goes. Well, Ryne Sandberg might have a new Phillies catalyst, Ben Revere, in his midst.

NBA

Breaking down the Sixers top draft options

With the NBA Playoffs now in full force, there’s only one thing on the mind of Sixers fans at the moment -- the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery.

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.