Report: The Astros are interested in Chase Utley, too

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that the Astros are the latest team to have shown interest in Phillies second baseman Chase Utley. They’re the sixth team with reported interest in the veteran, joining the Cubs, Angels, Giants, Yankees, and Dodgers. With All-Star Jose Altuve at second base, Utley would likely split time at first base and DH if he were to become an Astro.

Entering Friday night’s action, Utley was hitting .412 (7-for-17) with three doubles since returning from the disabled list on August 7. As of this writing, he is 3-for-4 with a double and two singles against the Brewers. He had been out since June 23 due to a right ankle injury. Upon hitting the disabled list, Utley carried a poor .179/.257/.275 batting line. During his DL stint, he said he found a flaw in his swing caused by the ankle injury, which he corrected.

Utley, 36, is owed the remainder of his $10 million salary for the 2015 season. He has an option for the 2016 season that is all but assured not to vest, so the odds are on him becoming a free agent after the season. Utley is reportedly seeking an assurance of playing time to waive his no-trade clause per his 10-and-5 rights.

Mets acquire Brooks Pounders from Indians

Brooks Pounders
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The Mets have acquired right-handed reliever Brooks Pounders from the Indians for cash considerations, the teams reported Saturday. Despite his limited and varied major-league experience, Pounders has put up intriguing numbers at the Triple-A level and is expected to step into a not-insignificant role with the Mets’ relief corps.

Pounders, 28, signed a minor-league deal with the Indians last December and pitched to a healthy 2.31 ERA, 2.8 BB/8, and 11.8 SO/9 over his first 35 innings in Cleveland’s farm system. He hasn’t taken the mound in a major-league setting since 2018, however, when he appeared in 14 games with the Rockies and labored through a much more unsightly 7.63 ERA, 1.2 BB/9, and 10.0 SO/9 across 15 1/3 frames. Still, his peripherals are promising, and there’s no question the Mets could use some help bolstering a bullpen that currently ranks eighth-worst in the league with a collective 5.31 ERA and 0.2 fWAR.

In subsequent roster moves, fellow righty Tyler Bashlor was sent back to Triple-A Syracuse for the second time this season, while Héctor Santiago was designated for assignment, Tim Peterson was optioned to Triple-A, and Chris Flexen was recalled from Triple-A. It’s been a less-than-ideal campaign for Bashlor so far this year: through 13 relief appearances for the club, he lost control of a bloated 5.23 ERA, 5.4 BB/9, and 9.3 SO/9 in 11 2/3 innings and had not been utilized in a game since June 2.