The Cubs have internally discussed going after Phillies second baseman Chase Utley leading up to the August 31 waiver deadline, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Utley, battling a right ankle injury, began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday. He’s been on the disabled list since June 23 after posting a disappointing .179/.257/.275 triple-slash line with four home runs and 25 RBI.
Utley has lost the starting second base job to Cesar Hernandez, GM Ruben Amaro announced on July 7. The veteran is owed the remainder of his $15 million salary and will become a free agent after the season, as his option for the 2016 season will not vest.
The Angels have also reportedly shown interest in Utley.
Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.
That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.
Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.
It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.