Toronto Blue Jays discussing trade for Chase Utley?

Jul 4, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley (26) in the on-deck circle against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the sixth inning at PNC Park. The Philadelphia Phillies won 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Buster Olney of ESPN reported today that the Toronto Blue Jays could be involved in trade talks with the Philadelphia Phillies about the possibility of the Jays acquiring second baseman Chase Utley.

It makes sense the Jays would be looking to fill the black hole that has been second base this season. Emilio Bonifacio has been a huge disappointment and although Maicer Izturis has been better after a horrific start, Utley’s power would most likely be a huge upgrade in production for the Jays over either player.

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. admitted in a radio show on Wednesday that the Phillies could be sellers:

If we continue to play the way we play sporadically, then I’m going to have to consider being a seller.

Utley is scheduled to become a free agent this summer and is in the last year of a seven-year, $85 million deal. One important note is that the Jays would not be entitled to a compensation draft pick if he chooses not to resign as a team gets zero compensation when trading for a player midseason in the last year of his contract.

So does trading for Utley make sense for the Jays?

One concern is obviously his health. He played 152 game in 2009 before injuries began to take their toll as his games played has reduced each season since dropping to 115 games in 2010, 103 in 2011 and only 83 last year. He has already made a trip to the disabled list this year with a strained right oblique but has returned to a very nice power surge. He went 2 for 5 yesterday with his two hits being a double and a triple. In his 13 games since returning has a triple slash of .309/.377/.655, including four home runs and five doubles to go along with a 0.353 WPA.

I have to question what the Jays would have to give up to acquire Utley after the current development system was ransacked this offseason. So for that reason I think that a reasonable deal will be difficult to get done.

It sure would be nice if the Jays could find a way to add Utley to this lineup of sluggers. But I think the real focus of this summer’s trade deadline talks will revolve around bringing a starting pitcher to Toronto, which Olney also mentions is an area that Jays are looking to upgrade moving forward.

Topics: Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays

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  • RyanMueller

    Would you really consider making any trades to attempt to make this Jays team better? This looks like a team that will continue to take 2 steps forward 2 steps back. Lets not waste prospects on rental players.

    • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

      I liked what Jonah Keri said on Baseball Central on Thursday – the ideal of the trade deadline is to make the team better period. Utley’s age, injury history and contract situation don’t help his case but any reasonable deal is always worth considering.

      • RyanMueller

        Absolutely, consider any and all trades. Also consider the future of the organization. I would strongly consider this trade if the Jays were first in the division or had a hold of the first WC spot. They are in neither position at this time; therefore, AA should only be considering trades to upgrade the team for next year by trading player(s) that can get that return.

        • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

          Have to agree. With his expiring contract, no compensation pick leverage and my expectation that Utley would want a 5-year contract kills any shot of a deal helping the Jays in the long run. I do think Chase has a few more good years left in him though.

  • Doug Hall

    He is 35 am I right and if I am then we are not in it now. So 36 is a little old as we look to next year. Also this tradewouldcost us too much.

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