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savafan
01-21-2007, 12:50 PM
http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/content/printer_friendly/mlb/y2007/m01/d21/c1783475.jsp

01/21/2007 11:15 AM ET
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Chase Utley exchanged marriage vows with his fiancée on Saturday afternoon in San Francisco.

A day later, the All-Star second baseman made a similar long-term commitment to the Phillies, agreeing to a seven-year, $85 million contract that will keep him in Philadelphia through the 2013 season. Though Utley will make less annually up front and more toward the end, this deal averages a little more than $12 million a season.

"We view Chase as not only a great second baseman but also one of the top 10-15 players in the game," assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. "He's a hard-nosed, full-throttle player who exemplifies the spirit of Philadelphia. He is tailor-made for this city and we couldn't be happier to lock him up for years to come."

The contract eliminates the sometimes messy process of salary arbitration, when teams exchange figures and either agree on a number or have a salary determined by an independent arbitrator. Last week, Utley submitted a figure of $6.25 million, while the Phillies offered $4.5 million, the third-largest gap between player and team.

This pact covers Utley's three years of arbitration eligibility and delays his possible free agency for four years, keeping him in red pinstripes for a long time. In 2006, Utley emerged as Major League Baseball's premier offensive second baseman, clubbing 32 homers and driving in 102 runs, while scoring 131 times. He also fashioned a 35-game hitting streak, the longest streak of the season and second-longest streak in team history.

There is precedent for such an agreement. Entering his first year of arbitration eligibility in 2004, the Cardinals' Albert Pujols inked a seven-year, $100 million extension, also avoiding the arbitration process. That came a year after St. Louis gave the slugging first baseman a $900,000 pact, a then-record one-year deal for a third-year player.

National League Most Valuable Player Ryan Howard will likely read about Utley's contract with great interest, as he is eligible for arbitration after the 2007 season. If the Phillies don't signed Howard to a long-term deal this winter, he'll still likely break Pujols' $900,000 mark.

KronoRed
01-21-2007, 01:03 PM
He strikes out too much :devil:

Red in Chicago
01-21-2007, 06:55 PM
wow, the "mrs" got in just in time:devil:

Johnny Footstool
01-22-2007, 11:02 AM
$12 million a season for the prime years of the game's best all-around second baseman. Great deal for both parties.

Heath
01-22-2007, 12:33 PM
wow, the "mrs" got in just in time:devil:

Pre-nup :evil:

Phhhl
01-22-2007, 12:38 PM
Utley is a very good player. But, that contract is indicative of a market that just went haywire.

flyer85
01-22-2007, 12:45 PM
seeing as he is already 28, the Phillies went way out on a limb. he will be 35 by the time the contract ends. MOST(especially non-steroid induced ones) tend to tail of in their early 30s. The Phillies would have been better off controlling him with arbitration through his age 30(and maybe age 31) season then deciding what level of perfromance they could expect and how much to pay him from that point on. They went out and took a huge risk in those out years maybe because Gillick is unlikely to be around at that point.

I think the Reds learned their lesson about very long contracts from the Griffey ordeal.

flyer85
01-22-2007, 12:46 PM
$12 million a season for the prime years of the game's best all-around second baseman. Great deal for both parties.I would agree if he were 24 instead of 28. Seeing as Gillick only bought 3 free agent years(32-34), it really makes this a high risk deal for the Phillies.

NatiRedGals
01-22-2007, 12:52 PM
I would agree if he were 24 instead of 28.

:owned:

savafan
01-22-2007, 01:49 PM
Utley is a very good player. But, that contract is indicative of a market that just went haywire.

Like it or not, this is the market that exists now, and we're going to have to accept that. Teams that want to be competitive in MLB are going to have to adapt to the market.

deltachi8
01-22-2007, 02:48 PM
Thats a lot of cheesesteaks.

I tend to agree with Flyer of this one, I would have, at his age, gone through arbitration with him and then see where it lands. It could cost you more in the long run or svae you a bunch.

Johnny Footstool
01-22-2007, 03:02 PM
I'm a big fan of locking up players rather than going to arbitration. It removes a lot of uncertainty about payroll.

He just turned 28 in December, so he'll be 34 when his contract is up. A guy like Utley should age well -- he's got a great mix of skills and doesn't play an extremely demanding position like SS or CF.

The Phillies don't want to let another franchise player slip through their fingers like Scott Rolen did.

flyer85
01-22-2007, 04:30 PM
The Phillies don't want to let another franchise player slip through their fingers like Scott Rolen did.they chose to trade Rolen, he was much younger than Utley when he came up. With all the injury trouble Rolen has had in STL I would think they are glad they are not paying him that much cash. I have little doubt that they would want to be paying Rolen now. The Utley deal is a little mystifying because they could keep him for the next 4 years without a LT commitment.

I think this issue is the one that would drive the Reds to trade Dunn. He is going to want a 5+ year deal after 2008 and don't think the Reds will offer that length of a contract(and I wouldn't either).

Johnny Footstool
01-22-2007, 05:14 PM
they chose to trade Rolen, he was much younger than Utley when he came up. With all the injury trouble Rolen has had in STL I would think they are glad they are not paying him that much cash. I have little doubt that they would want to be paying Rolen now. The Utley deal is a little mystifying because they could keep him for the next 4 years without a LT commitment.

I think this issue is the one that would drive the Reds to trade Dunn. He is going to want a 5+ year deal after 2008 and don't think the Reds will offer that length of a contract(and I wouldn't either).

The Phillies backed themselves into a corner with Rolen and were forced to trade him. They choked and got only Placido Polanco, a couple wasted years of Mike Timlin, and "Where are they now?" candidate Bud Smith in return. They'd have been much happier paying Rolen and not having to sign David Bell to replace him.