The Philadelphia Phillies appear motivated to move second baseman Chase Utley before the August 31 waiver trade deadline. Many rumors have circulated as to which teams are interested in trading for him. Here is the latest regarding Utley.
According to multiple reports, the Cubs, Angels, Yankees, Giants, and Dodgers have been mentioned as the likeliest destinations for Utley. The Astros are also receiving "credible buzz" about being in on him, as Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reported this evening.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that executives involved in discussions for Utley believe that he will choose to go to either the Cubs or the Angels.
Utley has 10-and-5 no-trade rights, meaning that because he has spent at least 10 years in the Major Leagues and at least five with the same team (Philadelphia), he can block a trade to any team. Therefore, the Phillies and Utley must come to a consensus as to where he will go before he is ultimately dealt.
Utley has drawn appeal from more teams than just those in need for a second baseman. The Astros, for instance, are definitely fine out at second, but could use an upgrade out at first base. Utley can play first or possibly designated hitter, which has allowed more clubs to come into play for trade discussion.
The 36-year-old Utley is signed just through this season, but has a vesting option for 2016 if he reaches 500 plate appearances this year (which is pretty much guaranteed not to vest due to disabled list time). On the season, Utley is hitting .208/.276/.313 in 272 plate appearances. Since coming off the disabled list on August 7, he's hitting .500/.478/.682 in six games.