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MLB rumors roundup for August 18

Are the Philadelphia Phillies any closer to dealing Chase Utley?

Less than two weeks remain before the August 31 deadline to complete a waiver deal that will keep Utley eligible for postseason play. Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes Tuesday that the Phillies need Utley to make up his mind so they can hand the second base job to Cesar Hernandez ASAP.

The Giants, Angels and Cubs are among the teams that have been linked to Utley, who can virtually pick his next employer thanks to his rights as a 10-year veteran, including at least the last five with the same team. “It would leave us all scratching our heads if the ultracompetitive second baseman opted to stay here in the land of the long lost season,” Brookover writes.

After hitting well below the Mendoza line, Utley has been healthy and productive since returning from the disabled list, which can only enhance his trade value, opines MLB.com’s Mike Petriello.

What are the Phillies’ looking for? ESPN Insider Jim Bowden suggests the Phillies send Utley and cash to the Giants for right-handed pitching prospect Kyle Crick. The Giants have a hole to fill at second base while they wait for Joe Panik to return from a lower back injury.

Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com asks if the possible addition of Utley would create chemistry issues for a team that is on a roll.

Here are more baseball rumors making the rounds this Tuesday:

  • New York Mets: After another rough outing by Bobby Parnell on Sunday, Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggested the Mets could use another bullpen arm, listing Addison Reed, Fernando Rodney, John Axford, Edward Mujica and David Aardsma as potential candidates who already have cleared waivers. General manager Sandy Alderson, however, told Mike Puma of the Post a deal for a reliever is unlikely.

  • Wally Backman: If Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo were to make the bold move of firing manager Matt Williams, one option to consider is Backman, the skipper of the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas, suggests John Harper of the New York Daily News. While a firing is unlikely, Harper notes the duo worked together in the Diamondbacks organization, when Rizzo was their scouting director and Backman made a very favorable impression as a minor-league manager.

  • Jedd Gyorko: Gyorko became the fourth Padre to start at shortstop this season in Monday’s win over Atlanta, raising the issue of whether he could be an option there in 2016, writes Jeff Sanders of the Union Tribune. Gyorko, who has last played shortstop in college at West Virginia, has six homers and 23 RBI in 40 games since returning from a demotion to the minors. Gyorko has made 63 starts at second base this season. The Padres have yet to find an answer at shortstop after parting ways with Everth Cabrera.

  • Leonys Martin: The season has gone from bad to worse for the Rangers’ outfielder who was hitting just .220/.165/.314 before being demoted to the minor leagues earlier this month. Martin is bothered by a sore right hand and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says there is concern the 27-year-old has a broken hamate bone that could sideline him for the rest of the year.

  • Travis Snider: Released Saturday by the Baltimore Orioles, Snider tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review he has not ruled out rejoining the Pirates. The Bucs traded Snider to Baltimore over the winter for minor league pitchers Steven Brault and Stephen Tarpley.