I feel like I should start this post with a disclaimer.
WARNING: The following blogpost is based on no factual insider information. The Phillies have not made it known that they are willing to trade Chase Utley. The thoughts reflected in this article are based purely on speculation.
In his daily podcast on ESPN.com, Buster Olney talked about how great Chase Utley would fit on the Orioles’ roster. “You’re talking about a team that didn’t make any major moves over the course of the offseason,” Olney said during his show open.
“Right now, they’re second baseman situation is unsettled. Brian Roberts is on the disabled list after having a good spring, we don’t know yet if he’s going to come back and be an effective player. But the Orioles could certainly, if Roberts isn’t okay, use a player like Utley.
The Phillies do find themselves in an interesting conundrum with Utley. They’re currently 9-13 and, through at least the first month of the season, appear to be a team that is too old to compete against the Braves and Nationals in the NL East. Utley is making $15 million in the last year of his contract with Philadelphia and would promise a big return should the Phillies decide to rebuild.
He’s a veteran, who has experience playing in a high intensity division. Most importantly, Olney believes he’s a perfect fit in the Orioles locker room. “And I think of Buck Showalter and what he values in players and I can’t imagine a player who would be a better fit for him in terms of being a baseball type of guy than Chase Utley.”
Olney’s colleague Tim Kurkjian, a guest on the podcast, agreed that Utley would like great sporting the cartoon bird. “Well, it would be a perfect fit,” he said. “Buck Showalter looks for guys like Chase Utley.”
Who knows if the Phillies will shop Utley? Maybe they think they have a chance of competing one more time in the NL East. Even if they don’t, they may want to re-sign Utley and build around him. It’s all pure speculation.
But boy would Utley solve the Orioles problem at second base. For now, it’s a fun topic to kick around.