The trade deadline is quickly approaching and it sounds like the Phillies are listening to offers on all players. There are a few players - Marlon Byrd and Jonathan Papelbon - that have a better chance of being dealt than others. One player who certainly has garnered a lot of interest is All-Star second baseman Chase Utley.
The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo reports the Toronto Blue Jays are "taking their best shot" at acquiring Utley although the organization does not seem keen on the idea of trading him. Utley controls his own destiny as he can invoke his 10-5 trade rights to block any deal out of Philadelphia if he wants.
Cafardo adds the San Francisco Giants into the mix as another team that is taking their best shot at Utley but, in all likelihood, the Giants' interest will lighten a bit as they signed recently-released second baseman Dan Uggla to a minor league deal.
Utley, 35, was voted to start his sixth career All-Star game last week in Minneapolis. On the year he is batting .286/.343/.436 with eight home runs and 46 RBIs in 94 games for the Phillies. Despite the somewhat pedestrian numbers compared to what we are used to from Utley, he is still having a solid year making contact. utley has made contact on 93.1% of all strikes he has swung at and on 75.8% of pitches he has swung at that are out of the zone. Overall, he has made contact with 85.6% of all pitches he has swung at, which is higher than his career 84.4% clip.
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