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.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.