It’s no secret the Philadelphia Phillies are sellers this year. The Phillies are in full-fledged rebuild mode and are selling off any piece that may have any value. Cole Hamels to the Rangers, Jonathan Papelbon to the Nationals, and Ben Revere are the most notable trades made by Philadelphia so far. There may be another one coming.
Chase Utley has been placed on revocable waivers. Now, this is not a surprising move for two reasons: 1) For the aforementioned selling and 2) because teams place most of their players on waivers when August rolls around.
Utley was, reportedly, placed on waivers on Sunday. This means teams have until 1 p.m. on Tuesday to claim him. If Utley is not claimed, the Phillies are free to trade Utley anywhere before the end of August.
Now, the thing with Utley is that he has 10-and-5 rights. This means Utley can reject any trade he doesn’t like. However, Utley has hinted he may be open to a trade. When asked about trade rumors and offers, Utley said, “I would be more than happy to listen to them. I do love Philadelphia. I’ve had a great time playing here, but out of respect for them, I would definitely listen to them.” On top of his 10-and-5 rights, Utley’s contract could be a problem. He’s owed $15 million this year and has a $15 million club option for next. How many teams are willing to take on that contract?
With all that being said, Utley deserves the same respect he is giving the Philllies. Utley is taking a higher road than Jimmy Rollins did. Jimmy Rollins refused trades until he broke the Phillies hits record.
What if the Phillies traded Utley to Toronto? Devon Travis can’t stay healthy, and Cliff Pennington at second is underwhelming. The Angels couldn’t use Utley? Johnny Giavotella is hitting .270, but has no counting stats to speak of. How about Kansas City? Omar Infante is doing nothing. Maybe the Yankees? Dodgers? Giants? Cubs? All these teams are contenders, and need a good second baseman.
The good news for the Phillies is that Utley has silenced some critics in his return, albeit a small sample size. He’s 5-for-13 with three doubles and three RBIs in four games since coming off the DL. He even scored from first on a double by Cesar Hernandez on Monday. He’s looked good, which will likely lure in trade partners.
Utley is a career .281 hitter, a 6-time all-star, 4-time sliver slugger. Even at Utley’s advanced age, and as is career is winding down, he’s still better, when healthy, than a good number of starting second baseman in the MLB. The Phillies should trade Chase Utley to a contender, they owe him that much.