The Philadelphia Phillies were hit with the loss of another key piece of their lineup, with the announcement that Chase Utley will miss time and likely won’t be ready for the season opener.
It’s unclear when Utley could be ready for the season, or if he even will. He’s dealt with a ton of injuries in the past couple of years, mostly having to do with his knees. It has to be a real concern for the Phils.
But right now, the Phillies are going to be focusing on ways to replace Utley in the lineup for the time being. And the Chicago Cubs could be a team willing to help them out.
The Cubs don’t exactly have a “surplus” at second base, but they do have a couple of spare parts that could help to ease the pain of losing a guy like Utley. The main guy I’m talking about is Blake DeWitt.
DeWitt isn’t currently on the Cubs’ 40-man roster after he was designated for assignment back at the beginning of February. The main reason for DFA’ing DeWitt was to claim Adrian Cardenas off of waivers from Oakland.
Many figured DeWitt was a goner, but no one claimed him or attempted to trade for him. The Phils could be intrigued by him now though. He hasn’t blown anyone away this spring, but he’s been decent this spring, hitting over .300. And it’s not as if he’d be overly missed on the North Side, given the fact that Cardenas comes with more upside.
Jeff Baker is another name that could interest the Phils. He’s better defensively than DeWitt and more consistent at the plate, and could be expendable with the emergence of the versatile Joe Mather. But he’s very likely the first guy off the bench for the Cubs and is going to be a valuable piece for them this season.
DeWitt likely wouldn’t cost the Phils very much, and even if they don’t bring him in to start everyday at second, he’s a guy that could have value moving around the field. It’s no guarantee, but certainly a situation to keep an eye on.