In the last 24 hours, there has been a flurry of Chase Utley news related to the possibility of the All-Star second baseman being traded. Here is an up-to-the-minute primer on the facts of the situation:
– Utley cleared waivers on August 11 and thus is eligible to be traded to any Major League team, provided he gives consent to a trade and waives his 10/5 rights, no-trade rights that a player is given when he is a ten-year Major League veteran and has spent five years with his current Major League team.
– Utley has made overtures that he would approve a deal to San Francisco, the closest MLB team to his family’s offseason home.
– Also last night, further confirmation was given that the Giants are not the only team interested in Utley. Utley is also being pursued by the Angels, Astros, Cubs, Dodgers, and Yankees.
– Multiple teams have made offers on Utley. As of press time, it us unknown which teams other than the Giants have exchanged names and what those names might be.
And those are the facts. There is some heavy speculation abound, however, based on injury and performance situations across baseball. The Giants seem to be a favorite due to Joe Panik going down via injury. The Dodgers may be seeking a second baseman after veteran All-Star Howie Kendrick went down, as well. The Astros are an interesting wild card in this group as they have Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa up the middle, one of the best double play combinations in baseball for 2015 but may be seeking an upgrade at first base where Chris Carter has been one of the least effective first baseman in the Majors. Meanwhile, Utley would look to displace Stephen Drew (15 HR but hitting just .195/.263/.396) if traded to the Yankees.
Meanwhile, the other teams in the rumor mill may be looking to make more subtle upgrades. Angels may look to add Utley in place of 28-year old Johnny Giavotella, who is receiving the first consistent Major League playing time of his career and ranks 19th out of 21 second baseman who qualify for the batting title in fWAR. Now that Addison Russell has been moved to shorstop in Chicago, the Cubs may be an option if the Cubs decide Utley is more equipped to handle the lion’s share of playing time down the stretch at second.
Stay tuned to Phillies Nation for the latest on Utley as it develops.
(Edited 10:50 AM: Added Russell is now playing shortstop for the Cubs and the Cubs seemingly have a vacant second base position.)