Phillies trade Chase Utley and cash to the Dodgers for two minor leaguers

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Yesterday Ruben Amaro said that Chase Utley was likely to remain with the Phillies for the rest of the season. That was yesterday. Today he’s on his way to Los Angeles to join the Dodgers.

Ken Rosenthal first reported that a trade was possible today with Todd Zolecki then reporting that the Dodgers were the team with whom the Dodgers were negotiating. Jon Heyman just reported that the deal is all but done, and that it will involve the Phillies sending Utley plus $2 million to the Dodgers for 2 minor leaguers, yet to be identified.

 

Utley, of course, has spent his entire career in Philadelphia, where he has batted .282/.366/.481 in thirteen seasons. The heart and soul of the Phillies offense, he was the leader and star of teams which went to the playoffs every year between 2007 and 2011, winning the World Series in 2008 and another NL pennant in 2009.

But the Phillies’ competitiveness has since waned, as has Utley’s health. With the team in full rebuild mode, it became inevitable that Utley’s time in Philly was coming to an end, be it in a trade this season or in the Phillies declining to bring him back in 2016.

Now Utley, whose bat has come back to life since coming off of the disabled list, is back in a pennant race. This time with the Dodgers, where he’ll man second base until Howie Kendrick comes back and then likely assume a utility and pinch-hitting role.

Freddie Freeman has elbow surgery

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Freddie Freeman‘s elbow began barking in the second half of the season and he was a shadow of himself in the month of September. The Braves rested him for half a minute in the season’s final week but he still played 158 games in 2019. They said he was good to go for the NLDS but he was clearly limited, going 4-for-22 in the Braves’ series loss to the Cardinals.

Today the Braves announced that Freeman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday. The team said today that the procedure involved the removal of three fragmented loose bodies and the cleaning up of multiple bone spur formations.

It’s not clear if more rest down the stretch would’ve made a difference for him — and it’s not clear that the Braves had options at first base for the postseason that were substantially better than even a limited Freeman — but it’s clear that not having Freeman feeling like himself in the heart of the order was a problem.

Freeman is expected to be good-to-go for spring training.