Just Say Goodbye


The debate over whether to buy or sell basically comes down to this: maybe the Phillies can chase down mediocre teams in front of them in the NL East, but you can't tell me that you think they can win a playoff series, as is. They don't hit elite pitching, which they will see in any playoff series. They can't hold leads or win tight games with their bad bullpen. They have several black holes on their bench. Their starting staff isn't 2011's.

With that said, this decision is directly tied to another decision: what to do about Chase Utley. I know how beloved Chase Utley is. His speech at the parade is an iconic moment in my life. Almost no Phillies fan wants to see him leave. I don't really either. I'm a huge fan of Cesar Hernandez, but there's no guarantee that anyone can replace Chase adequately, let alone in anywhere near the same production. Cesar certainly won't hit for the same power. If you are about contending right now, you pretty much can't trade Chase. If you can't trade him, with his value being fairly high, you should probably re-sign him now. Otherwise he just walks, and you miss out on any real value.

I'd love to buy into re-signing Chase. He and Jimmy deserve to play out their days up the middle in Philly, if there is justice. There is not justice though. Signing Chase Utley to an extension is ridiculous and stupid. Some are saying three years, $45 million. I say no. That's nuts. This is a player who gets hurt a lot, has chronically bad knees, and has not been an MVP contender since 2009 really. Sinking more money into a sinking ship is flat out stupid. I can't sign on to it.

I'd be fine with two years at $20 million for Chase. I'd even be fine at $30 million, if we could move most or all of Papelbon's deal (and free up that money for a left-fielder, since Chase would be at his current salary). The talk going on now is dumb.