UPDATE, 8:01 p.m. ET: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman says the base of the deal is two years, $27 million. That’s pretty good value for a player like Utley.
7:32 p.m. ET: As first reported by CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury, the Phillies have reached agreement on a contract extension with second baseman Chase Utley. The specifics of the deal have not been made available, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal is hearing that it will be a two-year pact in the high $20 million range with multiple vesting options.
There was talk of Utley being shopped at last month’s July 31 trade deadline, but the Philadelphia front office wound up selling no one and will try to build around the current crop of Phillies players.
Utley is in the final season of a seven-year, $85 million contract that he signed in January 2007. The 34-year-old is still a highly productive hitter, boasting a .275/.336/.505 batting line with 15 home runs and 42 RBI in 83 games this year. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. wasn’t kidding about not wanting to rebuild.
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.