The Chicago Cubs did not make a big trade at the trading deadline this season, but Chase Utley could be a target for the waiver deadline along with James Shields or Ian Kennedy and this comes after the Cubs did not trade shortstop Starlin Castro or prospect Javier Baez to the San Diego Padres after rumors of talks.
The Cubs are in the thick of the playoff race this season and the team was connected to players like Ben Zobrist, David Price and James Shields at the deadline, but the team didn't make any major moves. The Cubs made solid pickups for depth with trades for Dan Haren and Tommy Hunter, but the team still could be on the look for more help. The non-waiver trade deadline was on July 31, but that doesn't mean the team can't make other deals.
The Cubs were not interested in giving up top prospects for players they could not control and they still have most of their best chips if they want to make another deal. According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cubs may have interest in trading for Chase Utley, who is on his way back from the disabled list and is on a rehab assignment with the Phillies. Philadelphia is expected to consider trading Utley, as the team is rebuilding and has already traded away Cole Hamels and Ben Revere this season.
Utley comes in hitting below .200 for the season and he is still owed $5 million for this year if he is acquired in a trade. The Cubs reportedly had talks with the Padres about Castro this year at the deadline and the team has Addison Russell as their shortstop of the future. MLB Trade Rumors points out that if Utley is acquired and Castro does not start performing better, the team could use Russell at short while playing Utley at second base. Hardball Talk reports that the Angels also have interest in trading for Utley.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Utley has started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Lehigh Valley and he could be back in the major soon. The Phillies would like to move Utley, as the team is rebuilding and his contract has a vesting option that he likely will not reach on at-bats due to his injuries. Kyle Schwarber is sticking around for the Cubs for the time being and if Castro is traded, the Cubs could look at players like Kennedy, Shields or Tyson Ross with the Padres.
Earlier before the trade deadline, ESPN reported that the Cubs were "aggressively" trying to trade the shortstop, but clearly that didn't happen. The Padres and the Cubs reportedly "discussed" a deal with Castro and the team has also shown interest in Baez. The Cubs may be reluctant to deal Castro, as his value is down right now and the team thinks he has the chance to build back up into the offseason if they consider moving him.