The days leading up to the trade deadline saw Chase Utley's name featured in trade rumors. But as July 31st came and went, we began to hear less about where Utley could end up, and more about the second baseman working towards an extension with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Those whispers came to fruition with a two-year agreement on a new extension between the two sides on Wednesday night. The two year deal on its own is worth $27 million. It reportedly includes multiple vesting options, which are most likely tied to his health, which has been questionable the last several years.
Utley's game totals since the 2010 season have included 115, 103, 83, and 83 this season, respectively. He's had a variety of issues, including setbacks earlier in the year related to his oblique, which had actually brought his future with the franchise into question.
Since returning this season, the 2013 year has provided a nice little bounceback from Utley. He's made 342 plate appearances thus far, sporting a slash line of .275/.336/.505/.841 to go along with 15 home runs and 42 more runs knocked in. He's been a rare source of offensive consistency for an otherwise sporadic Phillies offense.
There was definitely a case to be made for the Phillies moving Utley at the deadline. But at the same time, he's a face of the franchise type player, and one worth keeping. Not only that, provided he's healthy, he's worth the price they're paying on a short-term deal. If he can remain healthy down the stretch and get a fresh start next year, he should continue to be an impact player for this team moving forward.