Chase Utley wants to join a contender on the West Coast and preferably in his native Southern California, two executives involved in the discussions told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The second baseman holds full no-trade rights, so he’ll have say over where he goes or whether he leaves Philly at all.
The Angels and Giants are said to have interest, but Rosenthal writes that the right fit might never arise for the Phillies and the 36-year-old. Utley has never asked the Phillies for a trade and would only leave the organization reluctantly, sources tell the FOX Sports scribe. Also, while teams are interested, they are reluctant to give up much for a seven-week rental who is owed $6MM+, including a $2MM buyout on his 2016 option.
On the flipside, Utley could have incentive to green light a trade since going to a contender could enhance his value this winter. The Phillies could also sweeten the pot with some cash to get a suitable return and make a deal happen.
The Cubs are still in the mix for the veteran, but given his California preference, they are not his first choice. The Cubs also might not want to disrupt a team that has won 15 of its last 16 games heading into today’s contest against the White Sox, Rosenthal writes. The Yankees could offer more playing time than any other suitor, but they’re on the wrong coast for the veteran. The Dodgers, in theory, fit the bill as a Cali contender with a need at second base, but Howie Kendrick could return in two weeks and Kiké Hernandez has been doing well in that spot so far.