2008 Alex is hyped right now, as the Dodgers pulled off a waiver wire deal for longtime Phillies second baseman Chase Utley.
Utley had a no-trade clause because he has played for >10 years, with >five of them coming with the same team. It had been rumored that he wanted to play in Southern California and be a starter, and that the Dodgers, Angels, Giants and Cubs all had interest.
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The former UCLA Bruin and Pasadena-born/Long Beach native had been struggling for most of the season, but he has at least one hit in every game since coming off the DL on August 7 and is hitting .484 since then. With Howie Kendrick sidelined for a few more weeks, Enrique Hernandez has gotten the bulk of the starts at second, but is probably more valuable as the primary backups at short and centerfield.
The Utley acquisition reunites him with Jimmy Rollins, who he played with for 11 seasons in Philadelphia. They won the World Series together in 2008. Like Rollins, Utley can be a free agent after this season if his option doesn’t vest or if it’s bought out.
Utley has a career postseason slashline of .262/.402/.500 in 204 plate appearances stretched out over 10 series’. He hasn’t appeared in the playoffs since 2011.
The Phillies got back two prospects for Utley. Darnell Sweeney was once highly regarded, but the acquisition of Jose Peraza kind of makes him redundant. MLB.com had him listed as the 13th best prospect in the Dodger organization. He’s extremely athletic, but many wonder if he can field enough to lock down a single position. Moving him makes sense and really shouldn’t have any longterm impact.
They also gave up Rancho Cucamonga pitcher John Richy, who was their third round pick in last years amateur draft. He’s started 18 games in 2015 for the Quakes and has a 4.20 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 124 innings pitched.
Jun 29, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Alex Guerrero against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
If anything, this trade means less Alex Guerrero/Alberto Callaspo, which isn’t a bad thing. A roster move will have to be made, and I would assume one of those two are going to be moved or DFA’d. It’s not a blockbuster and it won’t help the bullpen, but this move doesn’t mean the Dodgers won’t still look to add a reliever. Of course, there probably won’t be any worthwhile relievers clearing waivers in the next couple weeks, so that’ll probably have to be fixed in-house (Mike Bolsinger pls).
Utley will probably take some playing time from Kiké at second, but he should still be the primary backup at second, short and center. I’m not so sure how much this move will help the team, but if Utley continues his recent hot hitting it’ll definitely pay dividends while Kendrick is out. Neither prospect would have likely contributed to the Dodgers, so it’s worth the price.
The Phillies also sent $4 million to cover part of the Utley’s contract and according to True Blue La, his contract has a $2 million buyout after this season.