The Los Angeles Dodgers were somewhat of a late entry into the Chase Utley sweepstakes, but they have come away with the winning bid. The Dodgers were on a list of teams that Utley reportedly gave to General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. about three weeks ago. That list was a list of teams that Utley would agree to waive his no-trade rights to in order to facilitate a deal. The San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angels, Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees all reportedly had interest in acquiring Utley.
Utley, who was a fan favorite in Philadelphia, had said he would prefer to play on the west coast near his home in the Bay Area or in Southern California. At one point, the Giants seemed to be the favorite, but they couldn't guarantee the second preference for Utley, which was a full-time starting job. The Giants were pursuing Utley only after second baseman Joe Panik came up with a back injury. It's thought that Panik will return in a couple of weeks and Utley would have been relegated to a utility role.
The Dodgers are in much the same situation, with Howie Kendrick sidelined with a hamstring injury. The Dodgers expect Kendrick back around September 1, so it's not clear that there would be a full-time job for the rest of the season waiting there for Utley, either. One interesting scenario that might have intrigued Utley is that Kendrick is slated to be a free agent at the end of the season, so possibly, the Dodgers have interest in retaining Utley for 2016. Playing with the Dodgers will also reunite Utley with long double-play companion and friend, Jimmy Rollins, who had also let it be known that he would have liked to see the Dodgers trade for starter Cole Hamels at the trade deadline.
The Phillies will get minor league infielder/outfielder Darnell Sweeney and minor league reliever John Richy in the deal and the Dodgers will accept only $2-million of the $6-million still owed to Utley for the remainder of the season and to cover the buyout of his remaining contract. The Phillies announced late Wednesday night that Sweeney will take Utley's spot on the 25-man roster.