Utley, Phils discussing contract extension

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Phillies have been talking with second baseman Chase Utley about a contract extension, which is why he will not be traded before Wednesday’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline.

CBSSports.com reported the Phils and Utley have discussed three-year deals or two-year deals, plus a vesting option for a third.

The report said the club and Utley have discussed salaries in the range of $13 million per year.

Utley has made $15 million a year for the past four years, finishing up a seven-year, $85 million contract. He enters the Deadline hitting .277 with 13 home runs, 36 RBIs and an .839 OPS in 317 plate appearances. Utley missed much of the previous two seasons because of chronically injured knees, but the knees have not kept him off the field this season.

Utley’s .498 slugging percentage is his best since a .508 mark in 2009, but it remains to be seen if the Phillies are comfortable guaranteeing so much money to him. When Utley is healthy, he is one of the best second basemen in the game, but he has played more than 132 games in a season just four times in his 11-year career.

But the Phils must be optimistic or at least passionate about their desire to keep Utley. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has talked frequently in the past month about making Utley a “Phillie for life.” Amaro also said last week he expected Utley to remain with the team following the Trade Deadline.

This article was originally posted on MLB.com