Angels “exploring the possibility” of a trade for Chase Utley

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Thursday night Giants general manager Bobby Evans admitted that he’d made a trade offer to the Phillies for Chase Utley, but apparently there are other suitors for the six-time All-Star second baseman.

Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that the Angels “are exploring the possibility” of trading for Utley, who has hit well in limited action since returning from the disabled list. Prior to going on the DL he hit just .179 in 65 games.

Johnny Giavotella has done a decent job as the Angels’ primary second baseman, hitting .271 with three homers and a .679 OPS in 112 games. It’s possible the Angels could be interested in platooning the right-handed-hitting Giavotella and left-handed-hitting Utley, or like the Giants they may be looking to acquire Utley as a part-timer at multiple positions.

Multiple reports say Utley will only approve a trade to a team that assures him regular playing time down the stretch. Utley grew up in California and went to UCLA, so it’ll be interesting to see if he prefers San Francisco or Anaheim.

Matt Chapman to be sidelined for six weeks following shoulder surgery

Matt Chapman
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Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman has undergone his second surgery of the offseason. After feeling continued discomfort in his left shoulder, he had a distal clavicle resection on Friday, for which he’ll be sidelined at least six weeks before getting cleared to resume his preseason workout regimen.

The 25-year-old corner infielder closed out his sophomore season in the majors in 2018. He batted a terrific .278/.356/.508 with 24 home runs, an .864 OPS and 6.5 fWAR across 616 plate appearances, received his first career Gold Glove distinction and was a finalist for the American League MVP award as well. Despite recent complications, Chapman’s regular season performance wasn’t marred by injury — he sustained a right thumb contusion in June, but bounced back within three weeks and enjoyed a strong second half — and the A’s will undoubtedly look to him as one of their strongest performers in 2019.

Friday’s procedure was his second of the year, as he also underwent an ulnar sided sesamoid bone excision in his thumb back in October. Per Lee and MLB.com’s Manny Randhawa, Chapman is expected to make a complete recovery within a two-month window, after which point he’ll likely be in fine shape to contribute during spring training.