Phillies trade Chase Utley to Dodgers

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LA Dodgers Agree to Deal for Phillies Star Chase Utley


PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Chase Utley is reuniting with Jimmy Rollins in Hollywood.

The Philadelphia Phillies traded the six-time All-Star second baseman to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday for Triple-A outfielder Darnell Sweeney and Single-A right-hander John Richy.

Utley didn't play in the Phillies' 7-4 win over Toronto, but got a standing ovation afterward and he tipped his cap to the crowd.

"The hardest part is leaving the city of Philadelphia," Utley said. "They've been so supportive of me for so long and I can't thank them enough."

SEE ALSO: 5-year-old fan with prosthetic hand throws out first pitch

Utley had to waive his no-trade rights to go to his hometown Dodgers and he already cleared waivers. He joins Rollins, the franchise's all-time hits leader and his double-play partner for 12 seasons. The NL West-leading Dodgers lost second baseman Howie Kendrick to a hamstring injury earlier this month.

"I think it would be a lot of fun," Rollins said after the Dodgers lost to Oakland earlier in the day. "He knows this team. He went to school over at UCLA, plays well at Dodger Stadium, actually he beats up the Dodgers when in a Phillies uniform. If everything goes through and he's here, it'd be nice to see him playing some home games there at a place that he's comfortable hitting. ... He can add a lot. Hopefully, No. 1, first and foremost, that he's healthy and he's in a good case. The way he's swung the bat since he's been playing, anyone can use that. We can definitely use it.

"He does have experience, he's a tough guy. He brings that with him. More than anything that there will be some new excitement in the clubhouse. He has a chance to play some meaningful baseball late in the year again."

Utley is batting .217 with five homers and 30 RBIs in 249 at-bats. But he has a hit in eight straight games while batting .484 out of the leadoff spot since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 7.

Though he didn't show much of a personality and never smiled on the field, Utley is perhaps the most popular player to ever wear the red Phillies' pinstripes. His all-out hustle and tireless work ethic made him a hero in a town that reveres hard-nosed players.

His status was cemented in 2006 when beloved broadcaster Harry Kalas declared: "Chase Utley, you are the man!" after Utley scored from second on a groundout in a game at Atlanta.

Utley was one of a few guys to play in Philadelphia and not get booed. Former Eagles safety Brian Dawkins is another. In contrast, Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt, arguably the greatest player in team history, was vilified by fans during prolonged slumps.

Utley was a cornerstone on a team that won five straight NL East titles, two pennants and the 2008 World Series. He batted .301 and averaged 29 homers and 101 RBIs between 2005-09.

The rebuilding Phillies have missed the postseason the last three years and have the worst record in the majors (47-73). They began dismantling the roster last offseason when they traded Rollins to Los Angeles. They sent 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers last month. Only Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz remain from that championship team.

"And then there were two," Howard said. "It's crazy. You remember when you first walked in and you were a rookie and next thing you know you're the veteran guy on the team and you've got change taking place. It's definitely different and it's kind of a weird feeling."

The 36-year-old Utley has a .282 career average with 233 homers and 916 RBIs. In the 2009 World Series against the New York Yankees, he hit five home runs to tie Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson for the major league record.

The 24-year-old Sweeney was hitting .271 with 30 doubles, nine homers and 49 RBIs with 32 stolen bases in 116 games at Oklahoma City this season. Richy was 10-5 with a 4.20 ERA and one shutout in 22 games (18 starts) for Rancho Cucamonga.

RANKING THE BEST MLB STADIUMS:

31 PHOTOS
Ranking MLB stadiums
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Phillies trade Chase Utley to Dodgers

30. Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay Rays

The playing surface is a mixture of grass and artificial turf, and there are fire inspection rings in play over head. Must be a joy to play in.

(AP Photo)

29. Rogers Centre, Toronto Blue Jays

The only things worse than this warehouse-looking place are the metric measurements on the outfield walls.

(Shutterstock)

28. O.co Coliseum, Oakland A's

Any place sewage seeps back through the clubhouse drains probably isn’t a suitable location for pro sports.

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

27. Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas Rangers

Remember when this place was state of the art? Neither do we.

(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)

26. U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago White Sox

What’s more bland than the Chicago White Sox? Their uniforms. What’s worse than that? The stadium.

(AP Photo/Jeff Haynes)

25. Turner Field, Atlanta Braves

This place won’t live to see its 20th birthday. Good luck to the Braves’ next home, which will probably still always be empty, too.

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

24. Marlins Park, Miami Marlins

Makes perfect sense for an orange and teal team to play in a stadium with neon green everything. Also, has anyone ever figured out what exactly this is? 

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

23. Angel Stadium, Los Angeles Angels

Nothin’ like some fake rocks in center field to really set the mood for a baseball game.

Flickr

22. Progressive Field, Cleveland Indians

The fact that it’s no longer Jacobs Field bumps this down at least five spots.

Flickr

21. Busch Stadium, St. Louis Cardinals

Can this place just stay out of the playoffs just once?

Flickr

20. Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati Reds

How cheap is that wind tunnel?

 (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

19. Chase Field, Arizona Diamondbacks

Center field is the deepest part of the stadium, guys. The wall doesn’t need to be that high.

Clintus McGintus/Flickr

18. Yankee Stadium, New York Yankees

Great place to see the best baseball players of the 20th century.

(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

17. Miller Park, Milwaukee Brewers

Bernie sliding down that slide for every home run is ridiculous and awesome at the same time. Every time.

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

16. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia Phillies

Once you get over the fact that some little league parks have deeper fences? Cool place to catch a game.

 (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

15. Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles Dodgers

They should probably just name it Vin Scully Stadium at this point. Might help them out in these rankings.

 (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

14. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City Royals

The scoreboard being shaped like a long crown is a bit odd, but you can’t blame them for playing up the whole royalty thing.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

13. Coors Field, Colorado Rockies

If it’s not a blizzard in Denver, Coors Field is still pretty impressive. But let’s lose those humidors and get these balls flying like its 2001. 

(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

12. Comerica Park, Detroit Tigers

Credit to the grounds crew for making sure the infield didn’t collapse through the ground while Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera manned the corners. That approached a good 600 pounds of man.

 (AP Photo/Matt Halip)

11. Minute Maid Park, Houston Astros

Get back to us next year, once that ridiculous hill and flag pole are scrapped.

(AP Photo/Bob Levey)

10. Target Field, Minnesota Twins

You probably won’t want to sit outside in Minnesota until about mid-June, but after that, Target Field is tough to beat.

 (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

9. Citi Field, New York Mets

Ownership may be fresh out of cash, but at least its stadium has an awesome selection of $12 beers. 

(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

8. Nationals Park, Washington Nationals

It’s been seven years, and the team just can’t sell these naming rights. Strangely, this makes the park even cooler.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

7. Safeco Field, Seattle Mariners

For a stadium that opened up in 1999, the Mariners’ digs have held up pretty well -- even when their roster hasn’t.

 (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

6.. Petco Park, San Diego Padres

Fun fact: An old candy factory building was physically moved to make room for the stadium. 

(AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

5. Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox

Relax, Fenway is definitely an amazing place to watch a game. But sitting directly behind a pole and/or facing the left-center field wall just isn’t always appealing.

(Shutterstock)

4. Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs

We’re glad the Cubs decided to keep their old home intact, but there’s no two ways about it: Until renovation is complete, Wrigley is a dump.

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

3. PNC Park, Pittsburgh Pirates

After two decades under .500, the Pirates are finally playing some winning ball again. Good thing, because their park deserves as many games as possible.

 (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

2. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore Orioles

Still as beautiful as the day it opened in 1992, Camden Yards is headed toward becoming the next legendary American ballpark. 

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

1. AT&T Park, San Francisco Giants

Already 15 years and three names later, AT&T Park remains the best place to watch a Major League Baseball game. Between the amazing food, packed-out stands and the glistening bay in right field, San Francisco is lucky to call it home. 

(AP Photo)

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