PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Phillies lost three of four to the Dodgers to end the West Coast swing of their current 10-day road trip. They fell to 39-44, 9.5 games behind the Braves in the NL East, and 7.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot, and are heading to Pittsburgh for four games against the team with the best record in baseball.

As they enter July, the trade deadline just a few short weeks away, the reality of trading core players to clear salary and build for the future is closing in on Ruben Amaro. Perhaps the most core of those players is second baseman Chase Utley.

“He’s been an iconic player for us,” general manager Ruben Amaro Friday to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.. “My intention would be to keep him in our uniform for the rest of his career, if possible. I kind of view Chase as a Phillie for life. That’s my hope.”

Listen to Angelo Cataldi explain why Utley should be a Phillie for life:

A report from the Boston Globe says that the Royals have interest in Utley. The Yankees and Giants have shown interest as well.

Amaro’s options for trades that could actually bring value back are limited. Hamels would seem to be untouchable, Cliff Lee could cost the Phillies as much in salary to let him go as to keep him. There is Jimmy Rollins, Jonathan Papelbon, and of course, Utley.

Whether or not the Phillies get back into the playoff race seems unlikely, so it would seem immaterial to the conversation about Utley. The Phillies must decide if they think they want to re-sign Utley after the season, and whether it means more to the franchise for Utley to be a Phillie rather than elsewhere.