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With Rollins departed, seems Utley is staying

The Phillies’ second baseman has let it be known that he wants to stay in Philadelphia.

JIMMY ROLLINS is trying to find a home in Los Angeles and a place to stay in suburban Phoenix, too. He's now a Dodger, so his family home in New Jersey and winter home in Tampa, near the Phillies' spring training facilities, aren't going to do him a whole lot of good.

The Phillies' rebuild has begun with the exit of the longest-tenured player in the organization. Could Chase Utley be next?

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is ready and willing to trade anyone on his current roster in an effort to get "younger" and "more athletic," words he has repeated often since committing to an overhaul.

Now that Rollins is gone, what about Utley?

"I've had some dialogue with Wolfie [agent Joel Wolfe] but frankly, he doesn't want to go anywhere," Amaro said. "He has no desire to go anywhere . . . He wants to honor his contract and that's how we have to perceive it."

The Angels, Yankees, Blue Jays are among teams looking for second basemen this winter.

Rollins' new team, the Dodgers, also had the position open temporarily last week, when they dealt away All-Star Dee Gordon before trading for Howie Kendrick the same day. The Phillies and Dodgers reportedly talked briefly about Utley.

If Utley, a Southern California native, wasn't willing to go to the Dodgers, it might be a moot point thinking he'd consider leaving Philadelphia. That may or may not have happened - perhaps the talks ended when the Phils weren't excited about the names being offered back for Utley - but it is interesting that Utley's preference is to stick around with a rebuilding team.

Two months ago, acting team president Pat Gillick said the Phillies likely wouldn't contend in the next 2 years.

"If you remember the first time Pat took over he said in 2006 we weren't going to be good for a few years - and 2007 we won and 2008 we were champs," Rollins countered yesterday. "So Pat's a pretty smart man in not getting the hopes up too high or expectations up too high knowing he's going to field a pretty good team.

"Secondly, you don't just get up and walk away from something you've built just because things aren't going great at that moment. You just don't do that. I don't think anyone in that clubhouse is a quitter and just, 'You know what, I give up. I don't want to be here because we're not winning now.'

"We came from nothing pretty much and if you end at nothing, then oh well. But you keep on trying. And I think that's something we felt as core players that we always had a chance."

Amaro said the message he has received from Utley's agent has been pretty clear.

"The only discussions I've had with Chase and his agent about any of that is that Chase wants to be in Philadelphia," Amaro said. "And so, we work through our offseason knowing Chase Utley will be in Philadelphia and be a Philadelphia Phillie. I don't necessarily see that changing. Is it possible it changes? Maybe. But, again, regardless of that, we have to be listeners and think about ways to improve our club long-term. Chase may or may not be a part of that. But right now, Chase is a Philadelphia Phillie and he's not going to go anywhere."

Utley, who turned 36 this week, is owed $10 million this season.