Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Utley could be on the Dodgers' radar

The Dodgers appear to be on the verge of adding Carlos Marmol, who's had an absolutely atrocious season with the Cubs.  They also could be interested in another Cub, Matt Garza.

Now word is coming from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that the Dodgers could be in pursuit of Chase Utley.

Utley is a California native, having attended high school in Long Beach before taking his talents to UCLA.  The Dodgers have a need at second base as Mark Ellis has struggled to stay healthy, and utility players like Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker are decent, but certainly not in the class of Utley.

I'm sure that interest was ramped up a few notches after Utley's four-game stay in Dodger Stadium this past week.  He stroked three homers to go along with eight hits, and looked like a young star again.  The Dodgers took three of four, but certainly not because they shut him down.

If Utley does express interest in being a Dodger (the organization originally drafted him back in 1997 before he opted for UCLA instead), then I have to imagine Ned Colletti would jump all over it.  Injuries and age have taken their toll on Utley, as there's no way he'll return to his 30 homer, 100 RBI days.  But, he's still a big name, and has shown this season, especially against the Dodgers, that he's swinging a healthy bat.  He's already at 11 homers, which is the same amount he hit in each of the previous two seasons.

There are hurdles to this deal, however.  Phillies GM Ruben Amaro is obviously a big fan of Utley, as he's still a link to their championship team from 2008.  He's playing much better this season and is someone people will pay their money to see.  Plus, there's the $15 million he's owed this season.  That doesn't just magically go away...

... unless you're the Dodgers, and you've shown a willingness to take on large contracts.  With that said, Utley would have to waive his no-trade clause, and the Dodgers would have to send some good prospects to make this happen. 

I wouldn't say a deal sounds likely at this point, but it's worth keeping an eye on as the month of July progresses.

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