Las week, Trevor Bauer asked his Twitter followers a hypothetical question: What would be the first thing you would do if you suddenly came into “fuck you” money? That is, so much money that you really couldn’t care about the consequences of losing a whole bunch of it. If the latest rumors are true, the Cleveland Indians have effectively answered that question with their interest in Chase Utley.
According to Jon Heyman, the Indians are “intrigued” by the 38-year-old second baseman who spent his first 12 seasons playing at a Hall of Fame level with the Philadelphia Phillies and the last two as a surprisingly effective player for the Los Angeles Dodgers, given his age. Utley slashed .252/.319/.396 with the Dodgers last season, and his play at second base managed to stay afloat above average according to advanced metrics.
But that’s where the sense in this deal ends. The Indians already have a great second baseman in Jason Kipnis, a great backup second baseman in Jose Ramirez, several potential future second basemen in the farm system, and someone was probably just born in Cleveland who can play second base in 20 years. The Indians are set at the position, so Utley clearly would not be here for a starting second base job. Instead, maybe he’s insurance for Michael Brantley.
Now, granted, Utley has never played a single inning of his career in the outfield, but if Brantley starts the season on the disabled list again Utley can technically take that spot on the 25-man roster and the Indians won’t have to worry about filling it. That’s premium insurance, folks.
There’s no real reason for the Indians to sign Utley, if they are actually intrigued by him, but they currently have “World Series fuck you money,” so I wouldn’t put it past them.
I honestly could not tell you why the Indians would be seriously pursuing Utley, outside of maybe calling his agent and asking if he likes the weather in Cleveland. But at this point this offseason I’ve already thrown my hands up and stopped trying to guess what Chris Antonetti, Mike Chernoff, and the rest of the Indians front office is planning. So far I’ve been pleasantly surprised.