The Cubs are one of a handful of teams expected to make a run at Chase Utley. The Cubs, Giants and Yankees scouted Utley on Monday night in Phoenix. The Dodgers are also believed to be interested in Utley.
According to Jim Bowden, the Giants and Cubs are the two teams with the most interest in Chase Utley. The Giants are pushing hard to acquire him but view Utley as a backup option to Joe Panik. Once Panik returns from the DL, Utley would be pushed to the bench and to a utility role. At this point, it is believed Utley would only approve a deal to a team that can offer regular playing time.
With Addison Russell as the team’s everyday shortstop, Chase Utley might have a chance for more playing time with the Cubs. Joe Maddon likes the idea of Chris Coghlan in a utility role with Starlin Castro as his second baseman against lefty starters. Coghlan would be able to get his at bats while playing second and third base and both left and right field. Maddon is looking for ways to keep his regulars fresh for the remainder of the season without losing anything offensively and too much defensively.
Chase Utley is owed just under $5 million for the remainder of the season and has a $2 million buyout on his $15 million vesting option for next year (2016). Utley is not going to have enough time to get the 500 plate appearances required for the 2016 vesting option to become guaranteed. Prior to Tuesday’s game, Utley had only 263 plate appearances in 69 games.
With just under $7 million owed to Utley, the Phillies will have to include money in any deal for the veteran second baseman.
If Jim Bowden is correct and the Giants are pushing to acquire him, there should be a resolution relatively soon with Chase Utley.
Stay Tuned …