For those of you who have been panicking at the thought of the Phillies trading away Chase Utley at some point this month, you can probably exhale some now.
Over the weekend, there appeared to be a lot of momentum building that Utley would get dealt, with the Giants and Angels the leading contenders. But now, a bucket of cold water is being thrown on that growing fire by general manager Ruben Amaro, who told 94 WIP Tuesday morning not to expect to see Chase wearing another team's uniform this year.
.@Jim_Duquette said Chase Utley has rejected "not 1, not 2, but 3 trades. I would guess this would mean he rejected a 4th."— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) August 18, 2015
phils gm says utley is unlikely to be traded now. word is, chase still likes philly & has been less than anxious to leave.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) August 18, 2015
The obstacles to an Utley trade were numerous to begin with. He is owed about $6 million over the last six weeks of the season (including a $2 million team buyout) and struggled for most of the season before hitting the disabled list. But the most significant factor, and the one that likely scuttled any deal, is that Utley had full 10-5 no-trade rights that allowed him the final say on whether he left town or not.
And it appears as though Chase Utley never really wanted to leave, unless he was guaranteed an everyday playing spot and was able to land on a team on the west coast. And even if those two conditions were met, it still would have taken a lot for Utley to leave a city he and his family clearly love.
This is very good news, guys.
As I wrote a few days ago, there really wasn't a good reason to trade Chase Utley. The Phillies were never going to get anything more than a potential relief pitcher currently in Single-A or a potential fourth or fifth outfielder in exchange for him. They were not going to get a true rebuilding piece for him, and despite what you might read from some, getting rid of him just to make room for Cesar Hernandez is just plain silly.
Hernandez is having a very nice season, batting .281/.354/.363 with a .717 OPS, 16 doubles, three triples and 18 stolen bases. But his OPS+ of 100 is exactly league average, and his defensive abilities are worse. According to Baseball Reference's defensive metrics, his dWAR of -0.6 is among the lowest of all second basemen in baseball.
And despite playing below average defense at second, it's still the only position he can play even that well, which takes him out of the running as a utility player. So I'm not sure why jettisoning Utley for Hernandez makes any sense at all.
Thankfully, it appears as if Utley and the Phillies will get their long goodbye. And who knows? Maybe the Phillies will pick up the team option and keep him for another year next season.
Either way, it appears as though Chase wants to stay in Philadelphia, and that should be just fine with everybody.
Except maybe Cesar Hernandez.
***SUBSCRIBE TO TGP RADIO***
Click it HERE to subscribe on iTunes!
Click it HERE to subscribe on Stitcher!