In the twilight of his career and in the midst of his worst big league season, six-time All-Star Chase Utley wasn't going to command a lot in a trade. But the Phillies managed to get a pair of potentially useful prospects when they granted Utley's wish of playing for a contender in his native Southern California.
The Dodgers acquired Utley on Wednesday night in exchange for outfielder/infielder Darnell Sweeney and right-hander John Richy. Sweeney will report immediately to Philadelphia for his first big league callup.
Sweeney, 24, signed for $100,000 as a 13th-round pick out of Central Florida in 2012. He has raised his prospect profile by producing throughout his pro career, including leading the high Class A California League with 16 triples in 2013. Sweeney also led the Double-A Southern League with 88 runs and 77 walks in 2014. He was hitting .271/.332/.409 with nine homers and a Triple-A Pacific Coast League-high 32 steals in 116 games this season.
Though he's ranked No. 8 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 10 Second Base Prospects list, Sweeney has spent more time in the outfield in 2015. Philadelphia could give him a look at second base, though Cesar Hernandez has hit well there this year. Or they could use Sweeney as a utilityman. On a contending club, he would profile better in the latter role.
Sweeney doesn't have a plus tool, but he can provide a little bit of everything, and he can play just about anywhere on the diamond. He's a switch-hitter with occasional power and a knack for drawing walks. Sweeney's a solid runner with an average arm, though his infield actions and footwork aren't the smoothest.
Richy, 23, is in the midst of his first full pro season after signing for $534,400 as a third-rounder from University of Nevada-Las Vegas in 2014. Toiling in the hitter-friendly Cal League, he has gone 10-5 with a 4.20 ERA and a 105/34 K/BB ratio in 124 1/3 innings in 22 games (18 starts). Richy has currently tied for the league lead in victories.
Richy's fastball can reach 94 mph, but it is more notable for its run and sink -- he can add and subtract from it well. His changeup is his best secondary pitch, and he also employs a curveball and cutter/slider. The righty throws all four pitches for strikes, giving him a chance to become a back-of-the-rotation starter.