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Utley's future unclear as Deadline approaches

PHILADELPHIA -- General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. on Wednesday addressed something on everybody's mind: Chase Utley.

Utley will be a free agent after the season. He is the true leader in the Phillies' clubhouse and offensively he is showing the power he possessed in 2008 and '09, the last two times the club reached the World Series.

Amaro has said he hopes Utley will be a "Phillie for life."

So has he talked to him about it?

"Not really," Amaro said. "I think it's kind of inferred that it's something he'd like to do. It's a question for Chase."

Last season, the Phillies talked extensively with Cole Hamels' agent before the July 31 Trade Deadline to see where Hamels stood on remaining with the organization. If Hamels had been steadfast on testing the free agent market after the season, the Phillies could have pushed to trade him.

Amaro said they could speak with Utley's representation in a similar manner, although it does not mean the Phillies are pushing for an extension at the moment. Utley has had a lengthy injury history the past three seasons, so they might want to see how he holds up through September.

"We may have some discussions with him, out of respect for him and what he meant to our organization," Amaro said. "We'll cross that bridge when we get there. … We can always bring him back if we trade him. That's a possibility. But I don't really want him to leave. Period. So we'll see."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for
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