As we mentioned earlier today, Jon Heyman has reported that the Dodgers could be interested in acquiring Philadelphia second baseman — and UCLA alum — Chase Utley before the trade deadline.
On the surface, it makes sense.
Utley is a familiar name, has great career numbers, just hit the Dodgers well, the Dodgers have been weak at second base and he’s even a local guy.
Unfortunately, things seem to stop making sense there.
For starters, Utley is 34 and has played in just over half of the games over the past two seasons.
Now, if he were productive, it’d be a risk worth taking.
Unfortunately, that’s not really the case.
In 2011 and 2012, Utley hit just .259 and .256 respectively while hitting just 22 home runs total.
In fact, Mark Ellis actually hit 13-points higher than Utley did last season, albeit with four less home runs.
Just to take it one step further, Ellis has actually been a significantly better fielder the past two seasons as well, while also being far more durable.
This season, Utley has obviously been better.
He’s hitting .284 with 11 home runs already this season, compared to Ellis’ .259 and 4 home runs.
But the question to ask is: is it really worth adding on the salary or giving up the prospects required to add Utley?
While money isn’t an issue for me — as Mike Petriello pointed out wonderfully in his article on Andre Ethier — the idea of trading anything for a potentially minimal upgrade is tough for me to stomach.
I like the name value you get with Utley — but beyond his reputation as a guy who used to be really good, I’m not sure he provides anything to the Dodgers.
Even if he comes over and maintains a .280 average while hitting 10 more home runs (compared to .250 and 4 home runs from Ellis), I’m just not sure the upgrade is worth the gamble.
Obviously, there’s a chance this is just a rumor — something we should get used to at this point in the year — but if it’s anything more, I’d start to worry.
Especially with Ned pulling the strings.