Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Regardless of his age, Chase Utley is still a draw. Other than checking out some of the young talent this year, many fans will head out to Citizens Bank Park so they can still watch Chase play (and Cole, which might weigh a bit on the front office when it comes to trading him away). And it’s not like he’s some sad lump of a player who can barely field a ball or swing a bat any more. He may be 36, but according to the MLB Network, he’s still a top-ten 2nd baseman.
Utley is sandwiched between Howie Kendrick and Brian Dozier on the list, which also features (in order from the top) Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Ben Zobrist, Neil Walker, Ian Kinsler, and Jose Altuve. Utley was ranked 5th last year, but some of the guys on that list really came into their own and Chase is now a year older. The system may be flawed, and an 8th place ranking might not inspire undying love, but it’s still nice.
top bottom 10 rankings, Ryan Howard’s contract was named the 7th worst in baseball by Grantland’s Jonah Keri. At this point, only being the 7th worst feels like a win, because Howard’s contract is basically two-years, $60 million at this point. Keri puts it at $60 million because “Howard will make $25 million in both 2015 and 2016, after which the Phillies will buy out his 2017 option for $10 million.” We hope it doesn’t even go that far. But here he is on the now-legendarily terrible contract:
Howard is the original cautionary tale against extending star players two years before free agency, and his contract has been a source of near-universal mockery since the day it was announced. Putting the 35-year-old former MVP up for sale is the right move for the Phillies, but it’s doubtful any team would want Howard, even if the Phils paid the bulk of his freight. At this point in his career, even calling Howard a platoon DH is probably pushing it: His numbers over the last three years look startlingly similar to Luke Scott’s, and Scott had to go to Korea to find a job.
Sure, we’ll never top the Mets and their hilarious Bobby Bonilla snafu, but when it comes to paying players while they’re playing, Ruben Amaro has built himself a legacy of spending like there’s no tomorrow and then somehow not getting fired when tomorrow comes.