Chase Utley Acquired by Dodgers


The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired former UCLA Bruin Chase Utley from the Phillies yesterday. I’m powering through this for your sake, but to be honest, it hurts.

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As the Phillies enter a full-blown rebuilding period, they’ve begun to dismantle the core of the team that won the World Series back in 2008. Jimmy Rollins signed with the Dodgers in the offseason. Cole Hamels was sent to the Rangers at the trade deadline.

The next piece that many expected to move was Chase Utley. The Hall of Fame caliber second baseman struggled mightily this year, but he’d figured things out enough in the last month or so to make him an attractive trade candidate.

Many thought he would end up with the Giants, who were looking for someone to step in behind the injured Joe Panik until early September and then provide some desperately needed depth off the bench in September and potentially October.

But Utley is a 10/5 player, which means he has at least ten years of experience and at least five with his current team. As such, he had veto privileges on any potential trade. The Giants and Phillies had come to terms on post-deadline, waiver wire deal, but Utley said no because he wanted to go somewhere where he would have more playing time.

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It was then that the Dodgers swooped in, and Utley approved the deal. This makes sense as Howie Kendrick is out more indefinitely than Panik, and the Dodgers had more flexibility to create at bats for Utley, with Yasiel Puig also battling injury and Joc Pederson having a rough second half. Additionally, coming to the Dodgers allows Utley to reform the double play combination with Rollins that had so much success for twelve years in Philadelphia.

I’ve always liked Utley, mainly for being a Bruin, and I have to admit I got excited at the vision of one of my favorite non-Giants joining fellow Bruin Brandon Crawford to anchor the infield for my favorite baseball team. It’s icky and gross to see him go to the Dodgers instead. But even I can recognize the appropriateness of this great player closing out his Hall-worthy career in the same stadium where he fell in love with the game as a boy.

I wish him well…except when he plays the Giants.

This item has been edited to include links to the original reporting from which it draws, which I mistakenly left out of the original version.

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