Howie Kendrick, Kike Hernandez, Alex Guerrero and Justin Turner. These four are all ahead of Chase Utley in the pecking order for time at second and third base this year with Jimmy Rollins and Adrian Gonzalez seeming sure players at their respective positions.
So why did LA take on Chase? Well in his 12 and a half years in the MLB and also with the Phillies, Chase has been one of the better players on their roster hitting some .282 and being an NL All Star for 6 years with the privilege of having a World Series ring to his name.
The only problem for now is Utley is 36, he is being paid 6 million dollars for the remainder of the year and even though Philadelphia are paying 4 million of it to help the deal go through LA increase their lead in the MLB’s biggest payroll category to $307 million with the Yankees being some $17 million behind in second. Another two million dollars for his by out next year if he doesn’t fit and isn’t needed and this is a pretty expensive deal.
The Dodgers did have to part ways with outfielder Darnell Sweeney and pitcher John Richy however, two minor leaguers who have some promising, but not All Star quality careers ahead of them. The better of the two, Sweeney, is hitting .271 with 30 doubles, nine hone runs, 49 RBI and 32 stolen bases in 116 games for AAA Oklahoma City this season and looks to be in the big leagues in the next couple of years.
For Utley though it would seem he is a short term replacement, one that LA will use in the absence of Howie Kendrick, not sure why not Kike Hernandez, and then also at third when the second baseman is back. If they need him is another matter, with the bullpen struggles and the seemingly constant remainder Mattingly needs a new reliever or five, this trade doesn’t seem to add up completely.