Philadelphia Phillies franchise icon Chase Utley is being pursued by the San Diego Padres.
A native of Pasadena, California who went to high school in Long Beach and college at UCLA, Utley’s trade to the Dodgers was considered as sending him home for a chance to play for a legitimate World Series contender with longtime Phillies’ middle infield partner Jimmy Rollins.
The Dodgers hoped that Utley and Rollins would bring tons of big game experience to help that World Series push, but things didn’t work out as planned. Los Angeles won the NL West, but was dumped in a tough five game NLDS by the Chicago Cubs as Utley and Rollins largely became roll players.
Utley, who now resides just outside of San Francisco, is sure to remain at home in California as he determines where and when to finally wrap up his big league career. The Dodgers and Angels have already expressed their interest, and now the Padres appear to be jumping into the picture
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Despite an obvious regression in his results and talents as he prepares to turn 37 years old in two weeks, Utley still believes that he can be a regular, or at least can still contribute significantly. So an opportunity to play as often as possible is likely to be a major factor in deciding where he would sign.
The Padres currently have 24-year old Cory Spangenberg and 27-year old Jedd Gyorko already on the roster, filling the type of 2B/3B role that Utley would likely fill. The Dodgers and Angels also have multiple such players. However, none of the players available to any of the three clubs has the pedigree of Utley.
Of course, Phillies fans know that they got to enjoy the real, full, productive career of the man who was one of the best 2nd basemen of the last decade.
Utley had a .282/.366/.481 slash line with 233 home runs, 916 RBI, 949 runs scored, 346 doubles, and 142 stolen bases across parts of 13 seasons with the Fightins.
Considered the greatest at his position in the history of the franchise, Utley was a six-time NL All-Star while with the Phils. He was also a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and finished among the top eight in National League Most Valuable Player Award balloting, and was one of the keys for the team in winning five consecutive NL East crowns, back-to-back NL Pennants, and the 2008 World Series.