Earlier today, MLB Trade Rumors reported that Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com provided that Chase Utley “Seems to have softened his position” on being dealt since the winter of 2014. The report includes that the Phillies the Dodgers and Marlins when asking about Chase Utley.
So that leads us to think, what if the Miami Marlins did acquire Chase Utley?
The 36-year old Utley would have filled Miami’s second base hole, which was eventually filled by Dee Gordon. To revisit that trade, the Marlins received Gordon, Dan Haren, Miguel Rojas, a player to be named later, and cash considerations. The Dodgers received Andrew Heaney, Chris Hatcher, Enrique Hernandez, and Austin Barnes. The Dodgers then flipped Heaney to Anaheim for Howie Kendrick.
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Looking back on that trade today, it stands as one Miami would like to take back. Andrew Heaney has come up with the Angels and has been untouchable, going 4-0 with a 1.57 ERA in 34.1 innings pitched. Austin Barnes was just called up for the Dodgers after hitting .304 with a .385 OBP and eight homers in Triple-A Oklahoma City. And while Chris Hatcher still finds himself in the minors, Enrique Hernandez has filled in nicely as a utility player for the Dodgers.
Dee Gordon has been all you could ask for in Miami, but in a lost effort, as the team continues to struggle. Dan Haren has been a competent starter, but his consistency hasn’t necessarily fit his role as a one-year rental in Miami. If the Marlins decided to go after Utley, they would have needed to pay him $15 million in 2015, before handling his vesting option.
Either way, a deal to grab the 36-year old Utley may have spared Miami the loss of all the young talent they gave away. Also, it quite possibly could have yielded the return of Chase Utley’s all-star form. In his heydays, Utley was a .300 batting, 30 HR, 100+ RBI hitting on-base machine. He was part of the one-two punch with Ryan Howard, which brought a championship to Philadelphia. And while the Utley-Stanton combo most likely wouldn’t repeat those feats, the veteran second-baseman could have at least provided a second true power source before the emergence of Justin Bour.
Granted, Miami would have been forced to give up prospects to receive Utley. But let this exercise serve as a lesson to the Marlins front office when giving away young talent.
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