According to a tweet from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies. This trade sends former All-Star second baseman Chase Utley to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Reports from earlier today indicated that if Utley was not traded today, then he would remain with the Phillies for the remainder of the season. The veteran infielder has drawn interest from many clubs in need of some veteran leadership going into the postseason.
Utley, 36, has been one of the league’s best players for the last decade. The six-time All-Star has a career batting average of .282 with 1623 hits, 233 of which are home runs. Utley’s stellar defense was another huge component that led to his high value.
Utley’s stellar production slowed down last season and fell off a cliff this year, as he has been dealing with nagging ankle issues. Chase hit the DL for a stretch as his performance continued to suffer. This has arguably been Utley’s worst season, with a career worst OPS of .617.
Since Utley has returned from the disabled list he has been looking fantastic. He is hitting a ridiculous .484 over 31 plate appearances this month. While this is a relatively small sample, it does show he is healthy and ready to contribute for a contender like the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The interest from the Los Angeles Dodgers rose when starting second baseman Howie Kendrick sustained an injury causing him to go on the DL. Utley joins his longtime middle infield partner in Jimmy Rollins, but both will most likely have to share time with Kike Hernandez down the stretch.
Now that Hernandez will be able to get more playing time in the outfield, the team probably has no need to add Alejandro De Aza, who was rumored to be an option for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
MLB.com‘s Todd Zolecki reports that two prospects will be sent to Philadelphia in return for Utley. One of those prospects is Darnell Sweeney, who was ranked 13th among Los Angeles Dodgers prospects. The 24-year-old has spent the majority of his time playing center field, but has experience at both shortstop and second base. This season, Sweeney is hitting .271 at the Triple-A level.
What do you think of the Los Angeles Dodgers acquisition of Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley? Do you think the Dodgers will attempt to make any more moves before the August trade period ends? Finally, how do you think the Los Angeles Dodgers will finish the 2015 season?
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