No timetable yet for Chase Utley’s return

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General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. updated Chase Utley’s status yesterday, although there really wasn’t a whole lot to update.

Amaro told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that Utley “is moving forward” with his rehab from chronic knee problems and “his strength seems to be improving.”

However, there’s still no timetable for Utley’s return and so far there isn’t even any talk of him seeing game action at extended spring training.

Utley and the Phillies haven’t exactly been forthcoming about his status throughout all this, but his being able to simply workout again without significant discomfort is a positive development at the very least.

Cubs sign infielder Daniel Descalso

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The Chicago Cubs have signed free agent infielder Daniel Descalso. The deal is for two years and is worth $5 million, with a club option for 2021 that could bring the total overall value to $8.25 million.

Descalso, 32, has spent the past two seasons in Arizona. Before that he spent two years with the Rockies. He began his career with the Cardinals, playing in St. Louis for five seasons. He’s a career .240/.324/.370 hitter (85 OPS+) who can cover multiple positions. Indeed, in 2018 alone he played first, second, third, left field, DH and he even pitched twice. In his career he has also played a great deal of shortstop, though not regularly for a couple of years.

In an age of short benches and big bullpens, it pays to have a super utility guy. Descalso may not be Marwin Gonzalez as far as quality goes, but he’s just as flexible a lot more affordable. That’s worth at least something.