ESPN’s Jayson Stark has been all over the Chase Utley beat, reporting last night that the Padres are showing “strong interest” in him. This follows reports from earlier in the week that the Angels and Dodgers are likewise interested. Given that Utley is from Southern California and has voiced an interest in staying in the area, one wonders if some of this isn’t being floated by his people as a means of drumming up a little bidding from the three most geographically-suitable teams for him
Either way, taking a chance on Utley wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. For one thing, he’d likely be pretty cost effective at this point in his career. And, despite his obvious struggles overall in 2015, he did show occasional flashes of competence at times. A week here or there where, if you squinted, you could see something of the Utley of old.
According to Utley, his struggles were due to a bum ankle. If the ankle is better — and if Utley isn’t just blowing smoke about it being the cause of his ineffectiveness — he’d be worth a gamble.