Yesterday, Ken Rosenthal reported that Chase Utley had cleared waivers, and was thus eligible to be traded to any team. He's no longer the starting second baseman for the Phillies, and now that they've begun the rebuilding process, acquiring a prospect or two for Utley would undoubtedly be the right move. Jim Salisbury noted that the Cubs, Angels, and Yankees had all expressed some level of interest in trading for the former perennial MVP candidate, but that it was the Giants who were the most serious.
At the time, it wasn't yet known if the two teams had even opened a dialogue, but today Jon Morosi answered that question.
Sources: #SFGiants and #Phillies in ongoing talks about Chase Utley trade. Stage is advanced enough that prospect names have been discussed.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) August 12, 2015
Exchanging player names, prospect or not, ultimately means that that these talks are long past the early stages. Earlier this season, the Giants traded Keury Mella, and Adam Duvall to get Mike Leake, which further thinned what most considered an already weak farm system. Tyler Beede, Phil Bickford, and Lucius Fox would all undoubtedly be untouchable (Bickford more so because he was drafted this year), but it's unclear who could be included in a deal.
Kyle Crick was formerly their top overall prospect, and while he still strikes out over ten batters per nine innings, his walk rate has increased every season since 2013, which now rests at 9.70. According to MLBPipeline, the remaining top ten prospects would include Christian Arroyo, Sam Coonrod, Jalen Miller, Christopher Shaw, Steven Okert, and Josh Osich.
The Giants didn't profile as a team that would need to trade for an infielder in July, but with Joe Panik on the disabled list, and not likely to return until early September, they'd clearly like to install someone that has more of a proven history than Ehire Adriana and Kelby Tomlinson. While Utley has struggled overall in 2015, since coming back from injury, he's hit .412/.389/.588 with an ISO of .176, a wOBA of .406, and a wRC+ of 162. That won't last for the remainder of the season, but if he can be resemble the player he was in 2014, he can be a tremendous asset for the Giants.
While we know that prospect names have been exchanged, there isn't an update yet on how it's been received (on either side of that matter), and it's possible that the teams might ultimately not agree on a trade. But the Giants clearly seem motivated to complete a deal, and things could move quickly. Any updates on this story will be updated here, so make sure to check back throughout the day.