By Mary Cunningham

All of a sudden, there is a new and serious suitor for the Phillies’ Chase Utley

Add the Los Angeles Angels to a growing list of teams interested in trading for Utley, who is hitting .500 (11 for 22) with four doubles in his first six games after returning from a right-ankle injury that had sidelined him for more than a month.

The Angels pursued Utley, 36, in spring training and again before he went on the disabled list in late June, according to a person familiar with trade talks but not authorized to speak publicly about them.

Their interest intensified when it became clear Utley would not reach the 500 plate appearances needed this year for his $15-million option to vest in 2016. The left-handed-hitting Utley, who will be a free agent next winter, is batting .196 with a .266 on-base percentage overall but was hampered by the ankle injury all season.

The former Long Beach Poly High and UCLA standout would be a defensive upgrade over current second baseman Johnny Giavotella, who entered Thursday with a more-than-respectable .271 average, 20 doubles and 40 runs batted in.

Utley reportedly has cleared waivers and, because he has 10 years in the major leagues and five with one team, can veto any trade. It was also reported that Utley would only agree to a deal to a team that would assure him playing time.

At least four other teams — San Francisco, Houston, the Chicago Cubs and the Dodgers — reportedly are in the mix to trade for Utley.

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