Report: Chase Utley is “easily attainable”

22 Comments’s Alden Gonzalez reports that Phillies second baseman Chase Utley is “easily attainable” if an acquiring team is willing to take on his remaining contract.

Utley’s contract is quite interesting: he signed a two-year, $27 million extension with the Phillies in August 2013, but it came with a $2 million buyout and three vesting options for the 2016-18 seasons, which would pay him $15 million each season. For those options to vest, Utley would have to accrue 500 or more plate appearances in the preceding season. If any of the three options don’t vest, they become team options worth between $5-11 million depending on how many days on the disabled list he spent in the previous season. Utley is earning $15 million this season, which includes a $10 million base salary plus a $5 million incentive he reached last season due to spending 15 or fewer days on the disabled list with a knee injury.

Utley also has 10-and-5 rights, which means he has to consent to a trade to any team. He has said multiple times that he wants to stay in Philadelphia, but as he’s 36 years old and is staring down the barrel of a long summer with the Phillies, he may change his tune if given an opportunity to reach the post-season again. Utley appeared in 155 games last season, finishing with a .270/.339/.407 slash line along with 11 home runs, 78 RBI, and 10 stolen bases. However, he cooled off considerably in the final four months of the season, posting a .667 OPS since the start of June through the end of the regular season.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”