SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – General Manager Bobby Evans confirms that the Giants have proposed a trade with the Phillies that would bring them six-time all-star second-baseman Chase Utley, but there are a couple of potential snags to the deal that could keep it from happening.
First, Utley has reportedly told his agent that he would not OK a trade (he has the right to veto any deal, because he’s a 10-and-5 player, i.e., at least 10 years in the majors, and at least five with his current club) unless that team guarantees him a significant amount of playing time, according to ESPN. Assuming Joe Panik recovers shortly from the lower back pain that landed him on the disabled list last week, Utley would be no more than a backup second-baseman and pinch-hitter for the Giants.
Secondly, there are other teams that are likely interested in Utley that could offer him more playing time, including the Dodgers (whose second-baseman Howie Kendrick isn’t expected back for at least three more weeks because of a pulled hamstring), and the Cubs (who have been playing outfielder Chris Coghlan at second).
Utley has had a great career–a lifetime .281 hitter with 232 homeruns–but he’s 36-years-old, and has struggled through an injury-plagued season, hitting just .196 with four homers, although he is seven-for-17 with three doubles since coming off a two-month stint on the DL.
Utley hit .270 with 11HRs and 78RBIs last year, so if he’s healthy, he could be a nice addition to any contender down the stretch. But if he’s serious about demanding significant playing time with any new team that wants to acquire him, he’s not going to get it with the Giants, unless Panik’s back problem persist the final six weeks of the season.