As we continue to ruminate on whether Chase Utley really is a great fit for the Chicago Cubs, as discussed yesterday, there remains the strong possibility that he won’t even be traded by the Philadelphia Phillies when all is said and done.
This morning, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro not only confirmed that possibility, but added in a radio interview with SportsRadio WIP in Philly that Utley is “very likely he’ll be here in Philadelphia through the end of the year.”
That could always just be GM-speak – there’s no sense in saying a trade is going to happen, because there’s always a chance it won’t – but the circumstances here are a little different than usual. Specifically, because Utley has to approve any trade, it’s not like he doesn’t know he’s being shopped, and it’s not like interested teams don’t know he’s available. So, then, it’s not like doing the GM-speak thing is really going to have much of a messaging impact on Utley or on the pursuing teams. If Amaro presently says a trade is unlikely, it’s probably unlikely.
Howard Eskin goes a step further and surmises that this means Utley has decided to reject all trades:
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) August 18, 2015
Perhaps that’s the case, and that’s the end of that. I suppose we’ll see if there’s additional chatter from here on Utley – is it possible that he’s thus far rejected the trades that the Phillies wanted to make, but could still be open to going to teams who’ve made lesser offers? – or if he really does stay put. The Cubs have been rumored to be interested for a while, and may have even made an offer.
Keep in mind, there were reports this past week/weekend that the Phillies and Giants were close to a deal and then the Phillies and Angels were close to a deal, but neither happened. It does make you wonder if those were deals that the Phillies came to Utley with, and he ultimately said no.