According to multiple reports that were confirmed by GM Bobby Evans, the Giants made the Phillies an offer for veteran second baseman Chase Utley. But according to Todd Zolecki, several teams have submitted offers to the Phillies for Utley.
Todd Zolecki reported late Thursday that while no deal is imminent for Utley, trade talks are heating up. The Cubs are one of at least a handful of teams that have scouted Utley and have had conversations with the Phillies about him.
Chase Utley has full no-trade rights and can block a deal. According to multiple reports, Utley will only approve a trade if the team guarantees him regular playing time. Utley wants to play for a contending team but would also like to play beyond this season.
According to Buster Olney, the Giants cannot promise Utley playing time due to the uncertainty of when Joe Panik will return from the disabled list. When Panik returns he is the Giants everyday second baseman and that would force Utley to the bench and to a back-up role.
Olney pointed out the Cubs can offer Utley regular playing time because there is not a “clear answer at second base.” The Cubs have been talking to the Phillies about Utley “for awhile” according to Olney.
George Ofman indicated during Thursday’s game with the Brewers that the Cubs “might be leading the Chase Utley derby” according to his sources because the Cubs are “willing to guarantee him more playing time.”
Based on reports, the Giants and Cubs appear to be the two teams with the most interest in Chase Utley. The Dodgers, Yankees and Angels are also reportedly in the mix for Utley.
The Phillies were off Thursday and open a three-game series in Milwaukee on Friday night.
Reports in recent days have pointed to Utley being traded before the Phillies return home to face the Blue Jays on Tuesday. Bobby Evans did not expect an answer back from the Phillies on Thursday night.
Based on the amount of activity Thursday, Chase Utley could be with a new team as soon as Friday.