The Dodgers have been relatively quiet this offseason, outside of a few small signings and the trades for Scott Alexander and Matt Kemp. However, they may be about to bring back a veteran and fan favorite in Chase Utley. While re-signing Utley would also be considered a small move, his impact could still be big.
sources: dodgers are in serious talks with chase utley back. they love his abject professionalism. interesting hall of fame case.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 13, 2018
Utley isn’t the All-Star caliber player he was in his prime, but he still has value. Utley has been instrumental in the development and maturity of Dodgers young stars like Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger. Chase leads by example by playing each play like the season is on the line. He hustles on every hit, and will lay his body on the line for any ground ball.
Utley slashed .236/.324/.405 with 8 home runs, 20 doubles, and 4 triples in 2017. At 39-years old it’s hard to expect him to have better numbers in 2018, but these are still solid numbers for a bench player. If he can repeat his performance from 2017 he could be a great value signing at the right price. Utley made $2 million in 2017, so the deal will likely be somewhere within that range if not slightly lower.
While nothing is official, it seems inevitable that Utley will be re-signed. He continues to be working out at Dodger Stadium with other players. He also has a close relationship with both Dave Roberts and many young players who look to him for leadership. With Spring Training about to start, expect this signing to be made official in the near future.
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