Phillies Trade Chase Utley to Dodgers for two Prospects


A day after Ruben Amaro Jr. said it was ‘very unlikely’ that Chase Utley would be traded, the Phillies did what many thought they could not and sent the longtime second baseman to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Utley will be reunited with his Philadelphia double-play partner in Jimmy Rollins as the Dodgers pursue a NL West division title. With Utley the latest to depart, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz remain as the lone remaining members of the 2008 World Series team still on the roster.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports broke the news of the agreement.

Here’s what Heyman’s article had to say about the reported agreement.

"The Phillies have agreed to trade veteran second baseman Chase Utley plus $2 million to the Dodgers in exchange for two minor-leaguers, sources said. The deal has not been signed yet, though both sides have agreed to the trade.The deal would be expected to be for multiple “mid-level” prospects, not very top guys. In recent talks, the Dodgers were not offering to extend Utley, whose deal runs out after the year.Utley has a full no-trade and has been said to prefer to go to Southern California, with the Dodgers perhaps his top choice. The Angels, Giants and Cubs were also involved as well."

Since the All-Star break, Utley has recaptured some of his former offensive prowess. He has batted .484 in eight games (seven starts) and delivered five RBIs. To put that in context, Utley entered the All-Star break batting .179 with only 25 RBIs. As an organization that appears to be ‘all-in’ on a World Series run, the Dodgers had apparently seen enough to make the move to acquire Utley. Howie Kendrick, who the team acquired during the offseason, is on the mend from an injury and Utley can likely step in until Kendrick’s return.

As of 3:51 PM, there was still no word on the specifics of the return coming back to Philadelphia for Utley. Nevertheless, he will join the Dodgers, now sitting just two games clear of the San Francisco Giants in the National League west race, for the stretch run of the regular season and possibly playoffs. Given the fact that he will not meet the 500-plate appearance total needed for his 2016 option to vest, he could potentially become a free agent during the upcoming offseason.

Update 6:20 p.m.

According to’s Todd Zolecki (via Twitter), Darnell Sweeney is heading to the Phillies as one of the prospects in the trade. Sweeney can play both middle infield positions and in the outfield. Zolecki also passed along that Sweeney is the 13th ranked prospect in the Dodgers’ system, and the Dodgers have a pretty good system.

MLB Pipeline, who ranked Sweeney as the 13th best prospect, provides us with a scouting report:

"Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 55 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50One of the more athletic college infielders in the 2012 Draft, Sweeney slumped as a junior at Central Florida and dropped all the way to the 13th round. Since signing with the Dodgers, he has produced at four different Minor League stops. In 2014, he led the Double-A Southern League with 88 runs and 77 walks before performing well in the Arizona Fall League.Sweeney doesn’t have a standout tool but can do a little bit of everything. He’s a switch-hitter who has made strides in tightening his strike zone and possesses more power than most middle infielders. He has solid speed but is still figuring out how to use it after leading his leagues in getting caught stealing in each of the last two seasons.Primarily a shortstop in his first two pro seasons, Sweeney played mostly second base in 2014 and has spent more time in the outfield this year. He projects as an average defender at second base with similar potential in center, though he’s fringy at shortstop."

Ken Rosenthal, while confirming that the trade has been finalized, says that pitcher John Richy will be the other prospect included.

Richy was the Dodgers’ 29th highest rated prospect entering the season, per MLB Pipeline who also provides us with this scouting report.

"Scouting grades: Fastball: 50 | Curveball: 45 | Slider: 45 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45Richy planned on attending the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy before Nevada-Las Vegas recruited him after he graduated from high school. He took over as the Rebels’ ace last spring when Erick Fedde succumbed to Tommy John surgery. Fedde (first round, Nationals) and Richy (third round) gave UNLV its first-ever pair of top-100 picks in the same Draft.While he can’t match Fedde’s pure stuff, Richy can throw strikes with four different pitches. He can add and subtract from his fastball, ranging from 86-94 mph and maintaining his velocity deep into games. His heater features run and sink, and he uses his 6-foot-4 frame to leverage it down in the strike zone.Richy has good feel for his changeup and spins both a curveball and a slider/cutter. He has a clean delivery and works in the strike zone enough to profile as a durable end-of-the-rotation starter."

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