The suspension appeal for Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley has been delayed, reports the Associated Press. Utley was suspended two games for his role in the play that broke Ruben Tejada’s leg in Game 2 of the NLDS. However, with the Dodgers eliminated from the postseason, there is less urgency to conduct the appeal immediately. This is the first notable example of a player being suspended for overzealously attempting to break-up a double play. If the suspension is ultimately upheld, Utley will be suspended for the first two contest of 2016. The Dodgers hold a club option on Utley valued between $5MM and $11MM, based on days spent on the disabled list.
Here’s more from the West divisions..
- Utley’s hearing will be postponed until later this year or possibly next spring, sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter links). The CBA mandates that the hearing must take place within 14 days after the player has filed the appeal, but the hearings can be postponed upon mutual agreement between the parties involved. The appeal will be heard by MLB’s John McHale, not an independent arbitrator.
- A package of three Astros pitchers – Francis Martes, Josh Hader, and Joseph Musgrove – most likely would have the convinced the Padres to part with closer Craig Kimbrel, a baseball source told Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. However, a third piece, thought to be Musgrove, was too rich for Houston’s blood. The Padres could very well make Kimbrel available once again this winter.
- Meanwhile, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow believes that his club has an opportunity to become an annual contender. “We’re in a great position as an organization because our payroll’s going to continue to increase as revenues increase,” Luhnow said. “Our young players are going to continue to come through the system, and we have some assets. We’ve got some benefits, some advantages that other clubs maybe don’t have. We’ve got one of the top farm systems in baseball still while having a young team at the major league level that’s already competing. That’s the ideal situation. Now, we want to maintain that for a long time to come.”