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Insiders say Chase Utley & Michael Young could be Phillies most likely traded

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After losing two out of three to the hapless New York Mets last weekend, the 2013 Philadelphia Phillies have officially become the disaster that everyone in the Delaware Valley desperately hoped would not happen. The offense is putrid, the bullpen is even worse, and Charlie Manuel is clearly getting more flustered as the days are going by.

 

If the team declines even further, the team will almost surely deal some of their veterans and slowly start the rebuilding process.

 

However, the names that the Phillies deal might not, in fact, be starter Cliff Lee and closer Jonathan Papelbon, but rather two aging veterans: Michael Young and Chase Utley, reports CBS Sports insider Jon Heyman. 

 

You have to love the fact that the Phillies can historically never get diddly squat for their superstars. Curt Schilling? Scott Rolen? Cliff Lee the first time? This time the issue appears to be salary. Lee is owed $75 million through 2015 (and $90 million if his option is picked up), while Papelbon is owed $33 million by 2015 and $46 million through 2016 if his option is picked up. Make no mistake, teams will be inquiring about both Lee and Papelbon, but don’t be surprised if they’re both here in September. If they aren’t, chances are the Phillies got a raw deal.

 

Now back to Young and Utley.Photo: Kathy Willen/AP

 

We’ll start with Young because, to be blunt, we’re saving Utley for last. Overall, Young has had very nice career- too bad his previous 13 seasons weren’t in a Phillies uniform. At this point, Young is serviceable. The kind of player you would see on a team a few games under .500. Young is a classy guy who’s been dealing with some personal issues this season. His post season appearances with the Rangers give him experience that could definitely help a contending team.

 

Now on to Utley.

 

Utley has already missed 31 games this season. His trips to the disabled list have become par for the course for someone whom many considered to eventually go down as one of the greatest second basemen to ever play the game.  Could he help a contending team get over the hump? Without question. Chase Utley has never taken a play off in his major league career (which unfortunately is one of the reasons why his career will be shortened). His numbers aren’t what they used to be, but and his veteran presence and leadership improves a team by itself. Darren Daulton’s best days were behind him when he was traded to the Marlins, but any player from that team will tell you he was the difference maker in their championship season back in 1997.

 

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Of course, be prepared for the backlash (and there will be a backlash) if Utley is in fact, dealt. It’s not quite akin to the Oilers trading Wayne Gretzky to the Kings- probably more like if the Twins ever traded Kirby Puckett, but you see what I mean. Despite his decline the last few seasons, Chase Utley is still one of the greatest Phillies ever. It will be a sad, sad day when the franchise will have turned the page and said goodbye to the glory era of 2007-2011. Trading Utley will make that official.

 

Being that Utley and Young are both past their primes, it’s hard to really forecast just what kind of value the Phillies could get for them. Unlike Lee and Papelbon, salary shouldn’t be an issue. Young has a little over $8 million left on his $16 million 2013 salary, and Utley has around $8 million on his $15 million salary.

 

Stay tuned.



 

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Utley photo: Kathy Willens/AP