To the surprise of very few, the Phillies are reportedly not interested in bringing back former All-Stars Ryan Howard or Chase Utley.
When Chase Utley returned with the Dodgers to face the Phillies this summer, he got a rousing reception from the Philly faithful. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say fans may want Utley to make a return to Philadelphia, especially as he remains unsigned on the free-agent market.
It should come as no surprise that no team, including the Phils, are interested in Howard. If they wanted to retain Howard, they would have picked up his option or perhaps restructured his deal if they didn’t want to pay him as much. While he hit 25 home runs in 2016, Howard was worth -1.5 wins above replacement according to Baseball Reference.
Meanwhile, Utley is a better candidate to return to Philadelphia, but it was still a stretch. The only positions he can play are second and first, both of which the Phils already have covered. He would only add to the infield logjam that could soon be formed when J.P. Crawford reaches the majors.
While we will likely not see Howard or Utley in red pinstripes again playing actual games, they may still return to Philadelphia with another team, and hopefully they get the warm welcome they deserve.