According to reports from Jim Salisbury and Gordon Wittenmyer, the Cubs are one of the teams still talking to the Phillies about Chase Utley. But the Giants may have pulled ahead in the pursuit of the veteran second baseman.
Jon Paul Morosi reported Wednesday afternoon talks between the Giants and Phillies have advanced to the point the two teams are exchanging names of the players that would go from San Francisco to Philadelphia for Utley. Jim Salisbury added late Wednesday, Giants’ general manager Bobby Evans “acknowledged to reporters who cover that team that he has spoken to the Phillies about Utley.”
Theo Epstein met with the beat writers Wednesday at Wrigley and said the Cubs were not close on any deals. Epstein did not rule out the Cubs acquiring a player before the end of the month.
According to the Sun-Times, “the Cubs don’t feel a great sense of urgency to change the mix of the clubhouse or roster pieces that seem to be working.”
Chase Utley cleared waivers and can be traded to any team. Utley has full no-trade rights and must approve the trade before the Phillies can make a deal.
According to Jim Salisbury, it is believed Utley would not block a trade to the Giants. San Francisco is a contending team and he lives in the area in the off-season. Utley would help fill in for the injured Joe Panik at second base. If Panik returns, as expected, Utley could see time at first base and help the Giants off the bench.
Jim Salisbury also reported Utley “might be open to playing in Chicago. He has mentioned in the past that he likes playing in Wrigley Field.”
The Cubs, Giants and Yankees have had scouts watching Utley, who did not play Wednesday, and the Angels and Dodgers are also believed to be interested in him.
Multiple reports indicated Wednesday was just a day off for Utley and he is expected back in the lineup, if he’s not traded, Friday in Milwaukee when the Phillies open a series with the Brewers.
Chase Utley is 7-for-17 with three doubles in five games since being activated from the disabled list.
Jim Salisbury added that “people with knowledge of the player’s thinking say he is prepared to move.” And Salisbury is expecting a conclusion soon. Either Chase Utley will be traded or he will block a deal a finish the season with the Phillies.
Stay Tuned …