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.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.