The Chase Utley rumors have been fairly plentiful since he returned from the disabled list last weekend. The longtime Phillies second baseman was put on revocable trade waivers almost immediately, and he cleared earlier this week, making him eligible to be traded to any team.
The Giants are said to be in talks for Utley and even discussing specific prospect names that would head back from San Francisco, and he’s also been connected to the Cubs, Dodgers and Yankees, each of which has had various second base issues. The Giants are currently without Joe Panik, who won’t even begin baseball activities until next week. The Cubs have moved Addison Russell to shortstop and seem likely to keep him there, but they have both Starlin Castro and Chris Coghlan to handle second base (though neither’s played there at all in recent seasons). The Dodgers recently lost Howie Kendrick to the disabled list and have filled his roster spot with the promising but inexperienced Jose Peraza for now. And the Yankees have struggled at second base all season, with Stephen Drew receiving the bulk of playing time at the position.
Utley, once one of the most consistently potent bats in the National League, has faded significantly in 2015, though injuries have played a part to some extent. He’s appeared in five games since returning last Friday and hit in all five, and he’ll have the rest of the month to convince interested teams that he’s healthy (though a trade may not take that long to come to fruition). Utley’s $15MM vesting option is a non-factor now, as he should fall comfortably shy of the 500 plate appearances required to trigger that hefty payday even if he were to jump into an everyday role. Instead, the option will be valued between $5-11MM and come with a $2MM buyout. He has about $4.43MM in remaining salary plus a $2MM buyout on that option, so the Phillies will have to kick in some money in order to facilitate a deal, but they’ve been previously willing to do so.
All of that said, let’s open this one up for public debate (App users, you can cast your votes here)…