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Sunday, January 21, 2007


7 years is more than i expected, but to go that long, $85 mill is less than i expected.

If Utley was allowed to hit free agency, in three years he'd be in Boston or New York. Simple as that.

"Mugu Freind" aka Paul ABbott has some serious ties to Gillick from Seattle and I heard he is being considered for AAA as the closer. I'm hoping he gets a shot as setup man wiht the big league team! He was awesome with the Rays and even the PHils just he pitched in tough luck games.

Great deal , now let's lock up the other guys and have an exciting 2007.

7 years, wow, Gillick out-Waded Wade! But it's good to see the Phillies finally have an excuse for being chintzy all winter. And if it means being chintzy next winter because they extend Howard, I guess it'll just have to mean that. Signing Utley was crucial, and Howard is probably even moreso. I'm glad the Phils went all-out for Utley, despite being burned with long-term deals in the recent past. He's as sure a thing as there could be to justify that kind of investment.

For what its worth, Baseball Prospectus thinks we'll get our money back within 5 years of the deal.

I think the point about him hitting FA is well taken. If he got discouraged with the Phillies' ways after 3 more years of the usual, the Yankees would swoop in with a mind-numbing deal, no doubt.

This is a good deal for the Phils and for Utley. Congratulations all around.

Have any details like payment schedule, bonuses, and clauses been reported?

Utley is my favorite Phillie. Utley is the best 2nd baseman in MLB. That's a lot of years and a lot of money, but having Utley on our side for the next 7 years will be well worth it. Not to mention, it sets him up nicely to don a Phils cap in the Hall-of-Fame some day.

85 mil is pretty cheap compared to some of the other deals this offseason. I would have expected something more like 14 million a year, not 12. Hopefully this doesn't affect Chase's effort at all but I really doubt it will.

Utley gets a $2 million signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million this year, $7.5 million in 2008, $11 million in 2009 and $15 million in each of the final seasons.

A great player who deserved to get paid like it. Glad the Phils didn't create more acrimony by having a potential ugly aribtration hearing.

Great deal but I have to pay devil's advocate see what ramifications this has on other moves the Phils might make before the season opens.

Figure they will trade Lieber to try and get rid of his $7.5 million contract. If Gillick can gets a decent bullpen arm on top, then he views it as gravy.

Nice post fljerry - this deal is heavily backloaded but that will be an issue for a future Phils' GM in 2009 or 2010.

Normally you'd be concerned about that backloading, but a thought just occurred to me - 15 mill each for the final seasons, four years away - given the cyclical nature of players wages (peaked in 2000/2001, and again this year), that might make his contract look alright by the time we're paying the really big money. sort've like burrell's contract now.

If the phillies have structured that with an eye to future earnings (phillies and MLB-wide), that's fairly smart. Any sign of the No Trade Clause?

I'm just happy we locked Utley up for 7 years. I'll get to see many of his games, and hopefully catch a few with my children before Utley's signed away to be an excellent veteran prescence somewhere else. Utley's really got his head on straight, and for the first time all off-season, I think Pat Gillick does too.

a great move by the phil's. congrats to utley and really all of philadelphia.

howard will get a deal like this too, just next year.

It's really not that backloaded. He'll make 62% of the money during the last half of the contract. Compare to Burrell, who's making 73% of the money on the last half of his contract (worsened by that lovely no-trade clause, of course). And like Oisin pointed out, $15 mil in 2013 is less than $15 mil today.

Best news of the off-season! Nice to see Chase will be around seven more years!

Hey, I like Utley just fine. But I wonder how we will feel about this deal 6 years from now. I remember a certain Left Fielder who got a long deal for big money after a couple nice seasons.

Might be worth saving this post to look at in 6 years.

I'm not opposed to the deal, I just think it's worth pointing out that the honeymoon doesn't last forever.

Who would you rather have for this money - Utley or Soriano, obviously Utley and Soriano cost much more! The Utley deal and the trade for Freddy Garcia were the two best deals by any GM this offseason. We would have liked more, but getting an actual #1/#2 starter in exchange for guys who only have potential and locking up one of the two most popular players /cornerstones of the franchise for below market value was better than any of us hoped for. The 15 mil. per in the last 3 are the years he would have been a free agent and if he keeps up his current level of production while avoiding Rowand, he would have signed for much more than that. Great job PG!

That's a good topic: Name the best deals of the offseason. I liked the Alou deal to New York for 1 year, $8 million. I also liked the recent move by Atlanta to get Craig Wilson for first base, after dealing LaRoche for Gonzalez. I look at the deal Trot Nixon received and wonder why he was so inexpensive. I liked the Suppan signing. Milwaukee could be dangerous in the central. And I like this one.

one could make the argument that the Floyd-Garcia deal was one of the best of the offseason, if Floyd continues to struiggle in Chi the way he did here. That was a steal of a trade.

I just can't shake why they got Garcia for so little. Floyd stinks, and Gonzalez is kind of a toss-up. He's at least two years away.

Great deal for Phils. Utley is a great player. He is someone you can point out to your kids about how they should play the game.

I've been a Phillies fan since 1955. This kid is the real deal. "He made this money the old fashioned way; he earned it!". He is one of the best players I have ever seen in a Phillies uniform. He is our Jeter. This also shows Howard that the deal will be there for him next year.

I like the Dotel signing in KC. Come July when every team in the playoff hunt is looking for relief help KC can turn him around for some talent. The Eaton deal can really be a dark horse move. IF he stays healthy this rotation could very well be the best in baseball.

Trot Nixon is so inexpensive because he hasnt played more than 125 games in the last 3 years and not over 134 in the last 4...and since he will be 33 this season.

Paul: Add Gio to the ifs on your wish list.

Tray (Relating to two post ago), I did not mean to simply say that I like Chris Coste. I'm saying that he stabalized a weak position for the Phillies last year. The fact that he is such a great story is pure coincidence. However, my point with reading his books, is more of a reference to the fact that I would be willing to help the guy out financially (Not that he needs it, and I know he makes more than me), even if it is only the limited purchase of his books. Besides, I find his story genuinely interesting.

Chase Utley signing: great move, lets get Howard in February.

Glad to see this hotstove still burning all winter long. I have not been here, but it's time to get back.

The money to make deals like Utley and Freddy Garcia most likely would not have been possible without the Abreu trade. Once the Lieber and Burrell contracts are finally undone, PG can lock up Howard with the money he deserves.

Marcus Hayes: "Ruben Amaro Jr. said that the Phils' fruitless pursuit of Alfonso Soriano and other top free-agent hitters did not free up money to sign Chase Utley. He said the Phillies could have done both."


I kind of doubt they'd have give him seven years had they signed Soriano. But if the Phillies could indeed have done both, then scratch what I said earlier about the chintzy off-season moves being excused.

Our newly formed solid rotation and continued excellence in offense are what will take us into the playoffs. Our bullpen is bad, so we need a good 6-7 innings almost nightly from our starters.

Imagine tying two knots in one weekend. Utley brings many milestones from 2006 into 2007. Hopefully, onward and upward for Utley and the World Series for the Phillies.

Check out this post for Utley's various 2006 milestones;

I always find it amusing when someone tries to alibi the Abreu trade by saying "oh we couldn't have signed Utley and gotten Garcia without trading him." Think about that for a minute.

GM-Carson: What do you think the chances are that Adam Eaton averages more than 6 Ip per start?

ThatDude: Exactly right. In fact, some reports suggested that to stay healhty he really should be a fulltime DH. He has a bad knee that limits his mobility in the field and he missed a month last season with a biceps injury that hurt his throwing.

The 1-year contract isn't a bad gamble and I would've liked the Phils to roll the dice on him, but there is serious risk here. If he gets hurt again, the Indians will have to play Dellucci in RF and you know what that's like.

Clout, I agree with you about Eaton in that you cannot bank on him averaging 6 IP, but you gotta give the guy a chance. He definately represents something we didnt have last year, as in a fifth starter. Not having to throw out names like Bernero, Mathieson, and Floyd (Not Pink), drastically reduces the alkaseltzer to baseball watched ratio for me. I'm not expecting Eaton to be a world beater, and any month he goes under 4.00 ERA is a plus for me, but we cant write him off just yet. Besides, we still have not traded Lieber, so we can allways fall back on a bag of donuts when needed (At least at this point).

Clout, I can just picture PG and the Ruben, Jr. talking right after the Abreu trade...

Pat: Now Ruben, we can take this 2007 money we were going to pay Abreu and use it to frontload a long term deal with Utley.

Junior: Yea, boss. If we have any money left over, we can trade for a hispanic starter and use the Abreu money for him, too!

Clout- the chances of Eaton averaging 6 innings a start isn't too good. But Myers, Hamels, Moyer, and Garcia will. 4 out of 5 is solid! And if indeed Eaton is healthy, there's no reason we shouldn't get 180 innings out of him...but he needs to stay healthy.

Dayn Perry of FoxSports ranks the GMs today. Here's the ranking of our division.

1. Braves
9. Mets
10. Marlins
15. Phillies
24. gNats

On PG, he writes: "Since leaving Toronto, Gillick's success has mostly been a matter of good timing. Poor track record of building farm systems, but a capable "win now" exec."

Today's Marcus Hayes article uses the phrase "grit and talent" to describe Utley.

I looked up the word grit and found these two descriptions: "fortitude and determination" and "indomitable spirit."

Being dumb sometimes, I wasn't sure what "indomitable" meant, so I looked it up. It means "impossible to subdue" and "not capable of being conquered." Pretty cool descriptions for Utley.

This exercise got me to thinking about the word "grit". I think the Chris Coste Fan Club on this site likes Coste because he is a gritty player.

I don't think I have ever read anything from Dayn Perry that I would consider insightful, accurate or not just plain anectodal. In essence, he is a tool!

Glad to see all the positive press for Utley today.

The man deserves it and we should all be happy to see him in Philly for remainder of his most productive years.

The press misquoted the true value of his contract though. It will only be worth 42.5 million after the divorce.

j/k - wish him all the best, this must have been the best weekend of his life...

I see Seattle may have a need for a veteran starter...any way you think Gillick could rekindle his love-fling with the M's and dump Lieber for a reliever(s)? Maybe Mark Lowe, Julio Mateo, or George Sherrill. This is simply rumor on my behalf and wishful thinking.

Gillick work with Seattle? - Never. Haha. What, the Rangers don't have any needs that we can fill?

In all seriousness, this is a great move to revitalize this fanbase. After this offseason, I think all Phils fans were wondering if this team really wanted to win. If nothing else, they should sell a few more seats with this move. I think that the best part of this move is the fact that Utley is a no-nonsense kind of guy with a winners mentality. He wouldn't have agreed to the deal if PG and his boys didn't make at least some sort of commitment to continue to make this team better in the next couple of years.

i was just on youtube looking for the video of utley scoring from second on the infield chopper.

i couldn't find it though. any idea where i can find it?

Cy, Utley's undergoing a divorce? I don't think divorcee's are entitled to future earnings. They may enjoy your current lifestyle, but not your future lifestyle.

This is a great deal.Obviously what we all want the most is a championship, but either way it'll be a joy to watch this guy play for the next seven years. Hopefully, over those years, he doesn't change a thing in terms of his attitude and approach to the game. I believe it when Gillick says, "We want him to retire as a Phillie."

Regarding the no-trade clause: Utley also was given a limited no-trade clause: He must supply the Phillies with a list of teams to which he can be traded before each season.

That's a creative solution. Of course, hopefully it won't ever come to that.

LF - that would be alimony. Depending on the circumstances (mostly her financial dependence on him) it's possible.

this is a terrible thing to talk about. i'm sure they will have a long, healthy marriage.

"They may enjoy your current lifestyle, but not your future lifestyle"

Ask Michael Strahan...his ex got 50% of his worth and 20% of his FUTURE earnings.

What idiots! They guy hasn't been married for a week and you morons are already talking divorce.

Shame on you CY!!!

No wonder Philly fans have a crappy reputation.

If you want to take shots - do what I do - aim at Phils ownership and management. They certainly deserve it for their stweardship of this franchise the last 25 years. But Chase - you guys need to get a life.

Jeeze, good thing you all weren't invited to the reception.

A more lucrative occupation than sports star agent must be sports star divorce lawyer.

Let's see if we can get back to baseball, shall we? AWH, on the prior thread you said you were happy with the Phils starting OF of Burrell-Rowand-Victorino. Just out of curiosity what do you think each will do in terms of avg., HR & RBI?

Utley's deal won't be finalized until after his honeymoon when he gets his physical.

Ummm, if had a deal pending for $85mill, I think I'd say, "honey, wait in the car I gotta go get a physical". But that's cause I'd be paranoid of some freak accident on the honeymoon or something.

AWH - Relax - it was a JOKE.

Hense the j/k.

If I need to get a life you need to get a sense of Humor.

As I said - I wish him nothing but the best, he is my favorite player...

this just in! pat burrell isn't as good as joey d or pujols. thanks bill.

Bill Conlin has lost his mind.

Tim, I read Conlin's latest Burrell-bashing party also, and I agree he needs to give it a rest.

Had another Phillies dream last night, one in which a weird amalgamation of Phillies (Utley, Jeff Stone, Darren Daulton) was on TV, losing 2-0 and continually striking out and popping up with men in scoring position - until Von Hayes tied it with a 2-run triple by slicing a fly ball over George Hendrick's head. I woke up with the very strong conviction that the Phillies really need to revert to the prior numerical designs of their old uniforms, which are far cooler-looking than these lame Rollerball digits they use now.

"Rollerball digits." Outstanding comment. Never liked them, even in '92 after years of the old style. They are one step away from the Blue Jays' "Electric Company" numbers.

I don't know if this is old news or not, but our boy Brian Lawrence has signed with the Rockies.

clout, you're on. Then you can post yours, and at the end of the season we'll see who was a better prognosticator.

Victorino - the most difficult to project. I'm assuming he hits #2 and gets 650 PA.

AVG .285, R-108, H-170, 2B-24, 3B-13, HR-14, RBI-67, 53-BB.

Rowand 590 PA (contract year):

AVG .278, R-72 H-156, 2B-33, 3B-3, HR-18, RBI-78, 29-BB.

Burrell 621 PA(willheshowup?):

AVG .275, R-80, H-143, 2B-27, 3B-0, HR-30, RBI-103, 98-BB.

"Rollerball digits." If I publish a comment thread greatest hits, that's going on the cover, along with something from clout that includes the word "flotsam," and something "Britishy" from Oisin.

AWH: I said just avg., HR & RBI. This assumes that all 3 are starting outfielders and not platoon players. Our numbers aren't radically different.

Victorino .265, HR-8, RBI-52
Rowand .278, HR-15, RBI-70
Burrell .262, HR-32, RBI-101

Considering park context, this is one of the weaker outfields in the NL on offense.

98 Walks for ol'Pat. "Fastball below the knees and he's out". One can dream

I just have to say again how great this deal is, for all parties concerned, and most importantly, us. I haven't been in this good a mood on a Monday for a while.

The Phillies uniforms of the 1970s and 80s were as hideous as the pastel bellbottoms, leisure suits and poofy shirts from that era. Not as bad as the Padres and a few other squads from those days, but UG-LEE. At least the current unis look like a major league baseball team.
But I'm with RSB on the numbers. How about going back to the 1960s style numbers, which were about four times the size of the current numbers (they looked like the largest in mlb) but used a crisp font.

MM, he had 98 walks last year.

mm: You don't have to dream. Burrell walks in 2005: 99; in 2006: 98.
As you can see from the real stats, AWH's projection on walks is quite reasonable for Burrell (and Rowand, but too high for Victorino in my opinion).

I loved the powder blue road unis. The road unis today are just...blah.

plus I HATE the two stars where they dot the I's. The current Phillies unis, much like Citizen's Bank park seem a bit too "kiddy" to me.

The 1979 all red units were awesome.

Tony: For a clown show, yeah.

Plus, the hats. Most boring hats in sports. Check out the Portland Beavers' hats sometime - black with a chill 'P' in red. Every time I see them, I think, damn, that's what the Phillies' hats should look like.

I'm with That Dude on the unis. If they could bring back the powder blue for even one or two games I'd be happy.

I don't know, I don't like black in baseball uniforms. Black with a red "P" is a little too close to the Pirates' hats for my liking.

Viva la K-Mart!

no me gusta la cubans uniformos.

i would LOVE a retro series. especially against he pirates or astros. in my younger days (6 months ago) when i would play ps2 baseball the phil's would sport a lot of maroon and baby blue.

Speaking of videogames, MLB 2K7 is looking real nice so far.

...I need baseball. How long til the WBC?

zach, I wouldn't hold my breath until the WBC (and many of the players' managers couldn't be happier) - it's only held every 4 years or so, if I'm not mistaken.

Ah, I wasn't aware. I guess I'll have to settle for actual Major League Baseball for the time being. Don't worry about me, I'll survive.

Anyone played Out of the Park (OOTP) Baseball? You play GM and can load the Lahman data for real teams, players, etc. I've been completely addicted to the 2006 demo the last few days. And dammit, I got fair value for Abreu.

Conlin is like the long-tenured teacher at school who is outdated and only interesting to himself and his peer group but will always remain until he is asked to leave.

MORE INTERESTING DEVELOPMENT: This will be a very intriging spring training and start of the season that I believe will be pivotal in a new and improved chapter in Phillies baseball.

The makeover of personnel changes, both players and coaches plus developing transition of clubhouse personalities, leaders, and superstars hopefully will evolve into a fun, competitive, and hard-nosed brand of baseball that we desire to appreciate and support in Philly.

Utley, Howard, Hamels, could be the trifecta of superstars to start putting up flags at CBP along with Garcia, Moyer, Myers, Rowand, Helms, Eaton, Victorino to say they were there to get it kick started.

The ingredients are there - hopefully the cook and server are using the same menu.

I know this is completely off topic but it's a slow day and I have been surfing all afternoon. This was the game that made me a Phillie fan forever:

I was only 12 at the time. It is probably the best Phils game I've ever seen in terms of importance and the way they won. I've been a die hard ever since.

Bix: Ingredients for what?

well out of town Phillies fans like me just got screwed. MLB signed an exclusive deal for the Extra Innings package to ONLY be shown on Directv.

Tony: Thanks for the memory. That game was a microcosm of the 1993 Phils season: A great start by Schill, clutch hit by Dutch, blown save by Wild Thing, game winning HR by Lenny (God-bless his steroid bloated body) and LA somehow getting tough hitters out with nothing except guts and guile.

Dude, Please tell me that this is some kind of cruel joke. One of the guys I work with asked me if I have been getting the EI package on our cable system, since he was thinking about making the switch from Directv to Cable. I told him not only do we get it, but I've been a subscriber since Day 1, watching as many Phillies games as they'll put on. So, to add insult to injury, not only did I steer him the wrong direction, but I, myself am going to have to strongly consider Directv or the gawd-awful internet version of Extra Innings? Say it ain't so.

ootp looks cool. i just wish i could figure out how to play.

This was the game that clinched it for me.

I sat in the second to the last row in the 700 level right behind home plate. Even with the Todd Zeile slam in the first inning, you just knew good things were coming at the end of the game.

I think the best part is that, on the next day, I got fired from the crappiest summer job ever because I ditched them to go to the Vet.

I like the old Maroon uni's from pre 1993. For one thing, most of my old baseball cards feature them, and the first time I saw the Phils in Philadelphia they were wearing them. If anything they were unique. I dont dislike the new ones at all, but I have secretly wanted them to go back to the Maroon (Maybe it is a very specific color but that is the best I can do) jerseys. As for Black and Red uni's, I think I would lose my lunch if they came out in those. I would be constantly reminded of Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonilla. I know they were Black and Yellow, but the mostly black jerseys were always a subject of loathing for me. Plus it reminds me too much of old Pirate/Brave series.

Also, off subject, but this seems to be the year of the underachieving preseason favorite teams, limping into the playoffs and then winning championships. See Cards and Colts. These two teams seem to be mirror images of one another in different sports. Both preseason favorites to win it all in the eyes of many. Both looking very average towards the end of the season and then barely making it to the championship game. Both have larger than life stars, who have been questioned about post season performances (See Pujols/Manning). I predict a massive blowout in the Super Bowl.

My Pick:
Colts 42 Bears 17

Parker, I'm with you, I miss the maroon. The Beaver hats (has anyone looked?) are classy, they have red bills and a much more stylish 'p'. They don't look like the Pirate hats at all. I'm not really in favor of black in uniforms, either, but that much on the hat would be just the right touch. I hate the bright red of the Phillies hats. If they were maroon, people wouldn't mock them so much for looking like they're in the circus.

Mike H. holy cow, I was at that game too. I remember just walking in and sitting down when Zeile hit the slam with nobody out in the first inning - what a rude welcome. At the time, the Cardinals had been making a big run at them, but the Phillies were up to the challenge in a big way. It was perhaps the defining moment for me in that great summer when Daulton answered back with a grand slam of his own to left-center, which gave the Phillies the lead in that game after being down big early. Yeah - the one year they didn't was a miracle.

sorry to say I was not joking about he directv/mlb thing. Looks like o n my laptop this summer.

I prefer ancient history as far as uniform are concerned. Being a minimalist, 1923 does it for me.

Take a look here in the HOF site:

Parker and RSB, I normally enjoy your posts, but you guys are totally wrong on the maroon uniforms. Clout is absolutely right, those maroon uniforms were horrible. I hate the thought that the only WS champion Phillies team wore those maroon turd wrappers. I like our current uniforms with some minor modifications. I'd can the stars that dot the "I's" and the blue button on top of the red cap. I'd get rid of all the blue trim, yet, I, too, would bring back the powder blue road uniforms. They were cool. As for the numbers, I see the team so seldom on TV, I can't even visualize them. I do believe bigger is better and a real font is better than rollerball numbers.

Lake Fred -

I have to vehemently disagree about the baby blues, they're effing awful.

The powder blue color is appropriate to dress infant boys and not much else.

baby blues were cool

numbers on the sleeves are not

stars dotting the eyes are not

stars on the cap are gay

maybe actually having an alternate jersey would be cool (maybe)

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EST. 2005

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