Author: Drew Silva

Chase Utley
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Chase Utley is planning to play in 2016


Chase Utley batted just .212/.286/.343 in 423 plate appearances this season between the Phillies and Dodgers and he’ll turn 37 years old in December, but the impending free agent infielder is planning to continue his playing career in 2016.

“One hundred percent he is playing next year,” Utley’s representative, Joel Wolfe, told Joel Sherman of the New York Post on Tuesday.

Utley still faces a two-game suspension for his takeout slide of Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada during the NLDS. His appeal hearing for that suspension will either take place over the winter or next spring.

There should be multiple one-year offers available to him on the open market.

Utley was a National League All-Star in 2014.

White Sox claim Jacob Turner off waivers from Cubs

Jacob Turner
AP Photo/Morry Gash
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The White Sox have claimed right-hander Jacob Turner off waivers from the Cubs, per’s transactions page and Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors.

Turner missed the large majority of the 2015 season with elbow and shoulder troubles, and he posted a rough 6.13 ERA in 113 innings between the Cubs and Marlins in 2014.

The 24-year-old former first-round pick is nothing more than a low-risk flier for the White Sox as they begin to shape their roster for 2016. He was rated a top-25 prospect by Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and back in 2012.

Jacob deGrom will cut his flowing locks this winter

Jacob deGrom
AP Photo/Alex Gallardo

Game 1 of the World Series? Whatever.

This, via Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, is the biggest news story to come out of Kansas City on Tuesday …

The New York Mets often use the hashtag “HAIRWEGO” on Twitter to promote right-hander Jacob deGrom‘s starts. That may take on a new meaning after the World Series.

DeGrom indicated that he is likely to cut his signature flowing locks after the Fall Classic.

“I think mine is gone at the end of the year,” the Mets’ scheduled Game 2 starter told reporters on Tuesday afternoon. “It’s driving me nuts. I’ve got to get rid of it.”

Cue the Sarah McLachlan music …


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Nationals expected to hire either Dusty Baker or Bud Black as manager

nationals logo patch

James Wagner and Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reported on Friday morning that Dusty Baker and Bud Black were the only two candidates (out of several) invited back to interview a second time for the Nationals’ managerial vacancy.

And now CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman says the Nats are indeed expected to settle on one of those two established veterans for the gig …

Baker and Black are believed to be the only two finalists for the job, so barring something strange happening, one of them will be the guy. The Nationals did interview many strong candidates, though there’s no word at this point of a third finalist.

Ron Gardenhire, Phil Nevin, Alex Cora, Rick Renteria, Randy Knorr, and Cal Ripken Jr. were some of the other names linked to Matt Williams’ former job. There has been a heavy emphasis on experience in this search because Williams performed so poorly as a first-time skipper.

Between them, Baker and Black have 29 years of managerial experience at the major league level. Along with four Manager of the Year awards.

Black is said to be the “preferred choice” for some Nationals executives.

Aaron Sanchez likely to open 2016 as a starter

Aaron Sanchez
AP Photo/Gail Burton

Aaron Sanchez has a 1.67 ERA in 59 1/3 career innings as a reliever and he played a major role in the Blue Jays’ bullpen during the club’s run to the 2015 ALCS, but the 23-year-old is expected to enter spring training in 2016 as a strong candidate for the starting rotation.

Mark Buehrle is considering retirement and both David Price and Marco Estrada are free agents, so there will be openings in Toronto.

Sanchez debuted in 2014 as a reliever and then shifted to rotation work at the beginning of 2015. He was moved back to relief this past July after missing two months with a lat injury.

The former first-round pick has been rated a top-50 prospect by and Baseball Prospectus each of the last three years. A starting role is where he can maximize his potential.