Ralph Freso/Associated Press
Los Angeles Gets: 2B Chase Utley and $5 million
Philadelphia Gets: RHP Jake Jewell
While the Angels thought they were close to acquiring Philadelphia's Chase Utley last Friday, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez, they aren't about to give up their pursuit of the 36-year-old second baseman.
A deal involving Utley is shaping up to be more complicated than your typical swap for a number of reasons that extend beyond Utley's ability to block trades as a 10-and-5 player:
All three are issues the Angels are in a position to deal with. They can hand Utley the second base job for the rest of the season, using him as the designated hitter on occasion to limit the wear-and-tear he puts on his body.
The more cash Philadelphia kicks in, the better the prospect they'll get in return, so that's an obstacle that's easily avoidable. The case of Utley's 2016 option is tricky, as he's unlikely to pick up the 233 plate appearances he needs for it to vest, making it a team option.
The problem is that nobody's quite sure what it's going to be worth. Per Cot's Contracts, that team option is worth between $5 million and $11 million based on time spent on the disabled list. Utley spent more than a month on the DL earlier this season with an ankle injury.
With Alex Yarbrough not showing much offensively at Triple-A (.243 BA, .615 OPS), the Angels could guarantee that 2016 option if it falls on the lower side of that scale. Even if they don't guarantee it, Utley would seemingly have a chance to stick with the club through at least next season at the keystone.
Philadelphia would get an intriguing 22-year-old righty in Jake Jewell. While his future role remains unclear—he began the season in the bullpen but has since shifted into the rotation for Single-A Burlington—Jewell has a terrific fastball that sits in the mid-90s and has shown plus secondary stuff at times.
With Philadelphia rebuilding, the chance to add a versatile arm like Jewell's—one that could be ready to contribute in one way or another in the next few years—is a suitable return for what could ultimately be just one month of Utley's services.