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May 29, 2024

WATCH: Chase Utley recalls trade to Dodgers with former Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr.

Chase Utley was back in town recently to promote MLB's upcoming London Series between the Phillies and Mets, and recalled the lead up to his 2015 trade to the Dodgers with former GM Ruben Amaro Jr.

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Chase-Utley-Phillies-Retirement-June-2019-MLB.jpg John Geliebter/USA TODAY Sports

Chase Utley speaking on the field at Citizens Bank during his Phillies retirement ceremony back in June 2019.

The immediate years that followed the Phillies' contending run from 2007-2011 grew brutal quickly, and the end of the line was coming for everyone. 

Chase Utley and Ruben Amaro Jr. definitely remember the feeling. 

With Utley having recently been back in town to promote MLB's upcoming London Series between the Phillies and Mets on June 8-9 across the pond, the Phils' former star second baseman sat down with his former general manager, and longtime scribes Jim Salisbury and Todd Zolecki, on "The Phillies Show" podcast to discuss – among numerous other topics – the leadup to Utley's eventual trade to the Dodgers late into the 2015 season. 

"I remember a few times, like –I don't know if it was '14 or if it was '15 – we would pass each other in the hallway and [Amaro] would kind of just say 'Uh, where do you want to be traded to?'" Utley recalled. 

"At first it was like – I ignored it," Utley continued. "Next time: 'Where do you want to be traded to?'... 'Come on, Ruben.' Next time: 'Where do you want to be traded to?'"

To which he finally cracked: "'Ruben, if you have to trade me, you're getting fired.' Remember that?"


"Yes, I do," Amaro replied. "And I knew I was gonna get fired...Here was the tough thing for me, I didn't want to be the guy who did two things: 1) Fired Charlie Manuel and 2) Traded Chase Utley. And I did both. That's wearing a black hat, man."

Yeah, those post-2011 days were brutal. 

A quick clip of the exchange below, which included a few laughs now that it's all in retrospect:

Back in the day and in the moment though? Oh boy...

The window for that era of Phillies baseball slammed shut with the 2011 NLDS defeat to the Cardinals and to the scene of power-hitting first baseman Ryan Howard crumpling to the ground along the baseline with a ruptured Achilles. The underwhelming 2012 season that followed started bringing everyone to grips with that, and one by one, key but aging pieces started getting shipped out. 

Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence left in 2012. Charlie Manuel, who managed the Phillies all the way to the World Series title in 2008 and had them with a shot to win another in the several years after, was tearfully fired in 2013. Jimmy Rollins, the face of the franchise for years and its greatest shortstop, was dealt in 2014. Homegrown ace Cole Hamels was sent to the Texas Rangers at the 2015 deadline, and a few weeks later, it was finally Utley's turn.

The hard-playing, all-around second baseman who had become every Phillies fan's favorite was traded to the Dodgers as the organization realized, arguably two years too late, that it was time to start anew and rebuild. 

It was a lean few years after for baseball in Philadelphia, but everyone's on the other side of it now. Utley, after a couple more runs with the Dodgers, retired and is now MLB's ambassador for its efforts to grow the game in Europe. Amaro is back within the organization as an analyst and color commentator after a few more jobs around the majors, and the Phillies, despite a recent rough stretch, have surged out this season as one of the major's top teams. 

There's always some time to reminisce though. 

See the full episode of "The Phillies Show" with Utley, where he tells stories about the 07-11 Phils, his days with the Dodgers, and now his time in London, below or over on YouTube:

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