For a guy who has been under the Mendoza line for much of the season, there sure is quite a bit of interest in Chase Utley.
"You can't judge Chase on what you saw in the first half of the season," Jimmy Rollins said. "Judge Chase on what you've seen during his incredible career. He's going to go down as one of the all-time great Phillies. The other thing is that he's been hurt."
There's no doubt that Utley is the greatest National League second baseman of his era. Regarding his health, since recovering from his ankle injury, Utley has hit .500 (13-26) with some pop.
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"Maybe Utley was hurt all along," a NL scout said. "He looks like a different player now. He has a much quicker bat. He's running the bases better. He's driving the ball. You can see why teams in the playoff hunt would want to add someone like him if continues to hit. You add his veteran leadership and he could be really invaluable in September."
The Giants, Cubs, Yankees and Angels are reportedly vying for his services.
Cubs skipper Joe Maddon has always admired Utley.
"He's the consumate professional," Maddon said. "He's not just a great player but he also plays the game the right way. He would be a great influence in a clubhouse with young players."
Utley would be a great fit with the Cubs but the issue is playing time. Which team can afford to give him the most playing time?
"I think that's what it's going to come down to," Rollins said. "I can't see Chase playing part-time or even being a full-time DH. I have the feeling that he would rather retire than not play every day. I don't blame him. Chase is a great player, who has accomplished so much in this game."
Utley has full no-trade, just like Rollins had with the Phillies. "You have to be in a good situation to leave Philadelphia," Rollins said. "I loved it there."
But will Utley like Rollins move on?
"That's up to him," Rollins said. "As great as it is to play in Philadelphia, sometimes it's time to turn the page. I turned the page and we'll see if Chase does. He can stay right where he is or move on. We'll see what happens."