Chase Utley is officially back for one more go.
The veteran second baseman reportedly agreed to rejoin the Dodgers last weekend, and the deal is official eight days later. Dave Roberts and Utley’s teammates sung his praises for much of the offseason, and the team admitted had it not been for lineup imbalance, Utley would’ve been re-signed prior to the Logan Forsythe trade.
Utley serves as Corey Seager’s mentor, and the 2016 Rookie of The Year was vocal in his desire to see Utley stay.
Forsythe will be the starter, thus cutting down Utley’s at-bats. Utley could play more first base this year to provide him more playing time.
The Southern California native chose the Dodgers over three other contenders, and reportedly took less money in doing so. Utley is the third Dodgers offseason signee, joining Kenley Jansen and Sergio Romo, to accept a discount.
L.A. is bringing back an almost identical group to last season. Players have attested to the closeness of the clubhouse and the enjoyment of playing for Dave Roberts. Obviously the organization feels last year’s team was a tweak or two away.
We’re about to find out if that is correct.