Rangers designate Julio Borbon for assignment

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Once upon a time Julio Borbon looked like he might be the Rangers’ long-term answer in center field, but he fell behind Leonys Martin and Craig Gentry on the depth chart and today they designated the former first-round pick for assignment.

Borbon is still just 27 years old and actually fared pretty well at Triple-A last season, hitting .304 with 10 homers, 20 steals, and a .783 OPS in 126 games. He’s also held his own reasonably well in the majors, batting .283 with a .681 OPS in 216 games, although he hasn’t played regularly in the big leagues since 2010.

He no longer looks like a starting-caliber player, but a speedy 27-year-old center fielder with a decent track record should draw some trade interest or at least get scooped up off the waiver wire quickly.

Phillies considering Chase Utley for bench coach

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Sports radio personality Howard Eskin is hearing a fun rumor that the Philadelphia Phillies are considering Chase Utley to be their bench coach.

Utley hasn’t retired yet, but he is almost 39, is a free agent and is unlikely to find anything beyond a bench role at best at this point. Time for a career change? Who knows, as this popping up over Thanksgiving makes it hard to confirm or deny one way or the other. It’s fun to think about, though. Over the past four or five years, as Utley’s production has declined, he has been widely praised as a good clubhouse presence and mentor, so it would not be hard to imagine him transitioning into a formal coaching role.

Utley, of course, played for the Phillies for thirteen seasons. If he’s going to break into coaching, he’s most likely to do it there.