Maikel Franco

Phillies lose standout rookie Maikel Franco to wrist fracture

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Maikel Franco has been the biggest bright spot in another rough season for the Phillies, but now the rookie third baseman is headed to the disabled list with what the team is calling a “small, non-displaced fracture” of his left wrist.

Franco remained on the active roster for an entire week while hoping to play through what was initially called a bruise, but further examination revealed a much more serious problem and he was placed on the DL.

Philadelphia has turned to Cesar Hernandez and Andres Blanco as the fill-ins at third base and Franco’s fantastic rookie season is on hold after he hit .277 with 13 homers, 22 doubles, and an .830 OPS in 77 games as a 22-year-old.

On a related note: Chase Utley is in the lineup at second base after general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said this morning that he’s unlikely to be traded.

Rejected? GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says the Phillies are unlikely to trade Chase Utley

Chase Utley
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Trade speculation has been swirling around Chase Utley for the past couple weeks, with multiple contending teams being linked to the six-time All-Star second baseman, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said during a radio interview this morning that Utley “is likely to be with the Phillies for the rest of the year.”

Howard Eskin of WIP radio in Philadelphia suggests that means Utley rejected all potential trades presented to him by the Phillies, which was his right. However, it was assumed that he’d approve a trade to a contending team and particularly one in California. But apparently not.

Utley has looked great since coming off the disabled list last week, going 13-for-26 (.500) with one homer, five doubles, and a 1.308 OPS in seven games to convince potential suitors that he still has some gas left in the tank at age 36.

Giants general manager says they’ve made Phillies an offer for Chase Utley

Chase Utley
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Confirming various reports, Giants general manager Bobby Evans told Chris Haft of MLB.com that the team has made a trade offer to the Phillies for six-time All-Star second baseman Chase Utley.

Utley has the ability to block any trade and there’s speculation that he wants assurances–either playing time or financial–from a prospective new team before agreeing to a move.

Utley hit just .179 in 65 games before going on the disabled list, but he’s shown some signs of life since returning last week by going 7-for-17 (.412) with three doubles in five games.

He’s owed about $4 million for the remainder of this season and Utley’s contract includes a $15 million option for 2016 that will fail to vest based on his limited playing time.

San Francisco second baseman Joe Panik is currently on the disabled list with a back injury, but it’s not expected to be season-ending and the assumption is that the Giants want Utley for a part-time role.

Giants scout “keeping tabs” on Phillies second baseman Chase Utley

Chase Utley AP
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Now that Chase Utley is back from the disabled list the Phillies are very open to trading the six-time All-Star second baseman if contending teams have interest and Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com says the Giants may come calling.

San Francisco second baseman Joe Panik is on the disabled list with a back injury and Salisbury reports that “the Giants had a scout in San Diego for the entire Phillies series and sources tell CSNPhilly.com that the scout was indeed keeping tabs on Utley.”

Utley was awful before going on the DL, hitting .179 in 65 games at age 36, but he played well on a brief minor-league rehab assignment and is 4-for-10 with three doubles since rejoining the Phillies’ lineup.

Salisbury notes that the Angels, Cubs, and Yankees have also been linked to Utley, who would have to waive his no-trade rights before any deal could happen.

Phillies will activate Chase Utley for Friday’s game

Chase Utley
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Out since mid-June with an ankle injury, Chase Utley has completed a minor-league rehab assignment and the six-time All-Star second baseman will come off the disabled list to rejoin the Phillies’ active roster Friday.

Utley went 6-for-13 (.545) while playing two Double-A games and one Triple-A game, but remains a huge question mark after hitting just .179 in 65 games before the injury.

Utley was an above-average player last season and it’s possible a contending team could talk itself into taking a low-cost flier on him as an August trade pickup, but he’ll obviously need to put together a good stretch of games first to show that he’s not washed up at age 36.

Utley has an option for 2016 that will not vest because of his time missed, so he’s an impending free agent owed around $5 million for the final two months of the season and does have the right to veto any potential trade.