Utley Trade Talks Heat Up

Giants want him, but he wants an assurance of playing time.

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The Phillies may be on the cusp of shipping Chase Utley — a beloved member of the 2008 World (Bleeping) Series champs — out of town as they continue their rebuilding project.

“Sources told MLB.com on Thursday night that several teams have made offers for Utley, although no deal is imminent,” MLB’s Todd Zolecki reports. “The Giants are just one of those teams. San Francisco general manager Bobby Evans confirmed to MLB.com that his team has made an offer. The Angels, Cubs, Astros, Yankees and Dodgers are in the mix. The Angels have been interested in Utley for more than a month, and are worth watching.”

Utley wants assurances of playing time on his new team: “He does not want to ride the bench, because he plans to play next season.”

The New York Post reports: “Despite a poor showing in 2015, Utley could prompt a look from the Yankees given his postseason pedigree. He has a career .902 OPS in 46 postseason games with 10 home runs and 25 RBIs.”

The Inquirer reports: “Full no-trade rights have long afforded Utley the chance to dictate his future. The Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels are also potential fits.”

SB Nation, though, ranks Utley’s suitors and concludes he’ll stay:

“Do the Phillies really expect a prospect? Probably not going to get it when Utley’s in the middle of a disaster season. Do they expect salary relief? Every team had the chance to claim him and risk taking on his full salary, and every team said no,” Grant Brisbee writes.

Brisbee concludes: “This is the likeliest landing spot for him, the place where he doesn’t even have to change lockers or pack a suitcase.”

Maybe. But the logic — and momentum — for a trade seem greater than ever. We’d be shocked if Utley’s still in a Phillies uniform by summer’s end.