Last month Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. described himself as “cautiously optimistic” that Chase Utley would be healthy enough to play an everyday role in 2013, but Amaro has basically ditched the “cautiously” part now.
Amaro told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that Utley “is doing very, very well” while participating in baseball activities five days per week.
Utley is 34 years old and is always going to have issues playing through chronic knee problems, but he looked good down the stretch last season while hitting .264 with a .798 OPS in August and September.
UPDATE: Rosenthal is now walking the report back a bit, saying that indications that the Yankees and Happ are close to a deal but that it is not yet done.
10:29 AM: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees and J.A. Happ have come to terms on a three-year deal. The agreement is pending a physical. The financial terms are not yet known.
Happ just turned 36, but he has been effective enough to warrant a three-year commitment. The Yankees know this as well as anyone, having acquired him last year and watched him post a 7-0 record and a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts in New York. For the entire season he was 17-6 with a 3.65 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 193/51 in 177.2 innings between the Yankees and the Blue Jays.
With Happ back in the fold, the Yankees rotation now consists of Luis Severino, James Paxton, Happ, Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia, not necessarily in that order. A good group, assuming it stays healthy.