Here’s an open discussion thread so the minor league posts don’t get cluttered with Phillies’ talk and other topics.
- The Phillies were swept in a key series by the Milwaukee Brewers. They have re-taken the lead for the number one pick, for now.
- Since being activated by the Nationals on July 29th, Jonathan Papelbon has made 5 appearances in 18 games. Only two were in save situations. The Nats are 5-13 in those 18 games.
- Chase Utley has cleared waivers and waits for a deal that suits him before rescinding his 5-10 rights. (As is his right.)
Finding a suitor for Utley will be difficult. He wants a guarantee of playing time. He wants to play next season. He wants to play for a contender this season. He wants to play in southern California. That greatly limits the field of eligible teams. Even without a guarantee regarding playing time next season, Utley’s contract provides for a $2M buyout on top whatever portion of this season’s $15M remains to be paid.
In 2013, the Phillies flipped John McDonald for Nefi Ogando. This should establish the floor for any trade, I suppose. With all the baggage attached to a trade the ceiling might not be for very much higher. If Utley accepts the fact that he might not get next season guaranteed, kicking in some money (the buyout at the very least) should increase the value of the return. But not by much if Utley becomes just a rental.
Now, I like Utley as much as the next person. Unless the next person is one of those fanatic Utley lovers. I’m a member of a group where the female members all LOVE Utley and can’t bear even talk of his being traded. I’ve seen some of the bloggers I follow lose their objectivity over the subject of an Utley trade too.
Trading Utley is not some vindictive move by the team. It’s an effort to get some value back for a guy who shouldn’t return next season. You sugar coat the trade with the sentiment that he can play for a contender one more time, while avoiding the unpopular decision of not picking up his option next year.
I think a fair return would be a pitcher similar to several we have recently brought into the organization – Eflin, Lively, Pivetta, Eickhoff, Tirado, Windle. Plus whatever else we could get. If the roles were reversed, I certainly wouldn’t give up one of our top 8 prospects for a player like him.