Dodgers Reportedly Re-Sign Chase Utley

Chase Utley

According to Andy McCullough of the LA Times, the Dodgers have re-signed infielder Chase Utley on a one-year deal. Financial terms of the contract have not been released. The Dodgers acquired Utley midseason of 2015 and he was signed to a one-year 7 million dollar deal last winter.

The 38-year old veteran played in 138 games and collected 565 plate appearances for the Dodgers in 2016 while spending the majority of his time (134 games) at second base. Utley delivered mostly league average offense, defense and base running. The left handed hitting Utley slashed .252/.319/.396 with 14 home runs and 52 runs batted in while posting a .716 OPS.

Unfortunately he struggled against left handed pitching as he batted just .154 against southpaws in 97 plate appearances which was good for a paltry .470 OPS against. He fared much better against right handers, batting .273 with 12 home runs and a .343 OBP.

While Utley gathered just 3 hits for the Dodges in the 2016 postseason one of them was a game winning RBI single in game 4 of the NLDS against Washington that kept their season alive. Utley was 3 for 16 in the NLDS and 0 for 12 in the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs.

I’m glad to see Utley return. Utley has shown to still be a very capable hitter and defender despite his age. He may be on the down slope of his career but he has come up with some big hits for the Dodgers. He figures to get some playing time adding value as a veteran presence and as a platoon option off the bench.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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23 thoughts on “Dodgers Reportedly Re-Sign Chase Utley

  1. These guys don’t have a freakin clue as to what they are doing.

    Utley has been on the last 2 postseason teams and other than break the Mets SS leg has not done anything. 3 for 28 last year. Yes, lets sign him and bring him back. Lets push some of our younger players further away from the Bigs.

    Didn’t they just ‘over trade’ for a 2nd baseman? So they have so much confidence in their new acquistion that they felt the need to add Utley to the mix.

    NO VISION WHATSOEVER.

    These guys need to go back to their previous occupations.

    1. He will only be a bench player but his leadership, professionalism, etc is invaluable. Seager wanted him back and that’s good enough for me.
      Gutierrez also a good signing, Lifetime vs LHP-.289 BA; .896 OPS.

      1. He might start the season like he did last year, .790 OPS March/April/May then give us the geezer fade, .674 OPS Sept/Oct and somewhere in the middle we bring up Calhoun who will be clubbing AAA pitching. What I notice is another old dude is taking a roster spot. I guess they figure we won’t win it by going with youth, so, make the team older. It could work. All the risk moves, dozens of them to date, could work. Most haven’t, so, maybe they’re due.

        Anybody seen MIA Trayce Thompson?

          1. Yeah, I think extended Spring Training may be understating it:

            “Friedman explained that while Thompson has been moving toward taking part in baseball activities as his rehab progresses, his availability for spring training remains dodgy. He has not yet swung a bat this offseason. The 25-year-old outfielder missed the second half of the 2016 campaign due to a pair of stress fractures in his back. In 80 games played last season, he hit .225/.302/.436 with 13 homers and five steals. Jan 11 – 5:45 PM”

            This is the latest I found on an update. Friedman explained? What does the medical staff say? That report was a month ago. I wonder if anything has changed? Gutierrez takes Thompson’s place. I think Trayce will be lucky to play in the ML again.

  2. Gutierrez was originally a Dodger oh so many years ago. I think the only thing Utley’s signing does is mean borderline guys like Culberson, Taylor and yes, Kike Hernandez have had their chances of breaking camp with this team cut in half. Ruf and Fernandez? No shot. I was reading the whole story and Utley is not only valuable as Seager’s mentor, he had a lot more big hits for the Dodgers than any of the aforementioned players. He will not be playing every day, so he will be fresh at season’s end, and he is a pro’s pro. I would rather see him coming of the bench in a clutch situation than Ruf or Hernandez. And Chili, we did not over trade for Forsythe, it takes quality to get quality and Deleon had slipped on their depth chart.

    1. Totally agree Michael. We still need a RH power bat and Braun may still be on the horizon in the near future. Of course it depends on what Puig does or doesn’t do.

    2. I agree even though Guetierrez is a bit of a head scratcher. He’s definitely better than the kid they picked off the scrap heap from Oakland. He provides better insurance than Kike in CF if something were to happen to Joc.

      Criticizing Utley shows a lack of knowledge of the game. He was at the center of a great deal of the Dodgers biggest moments last year. He played well against righties. There’s no doubt that he wore down but he’s excellent insurance if something were too happen to Forsythe, Seager, or Turner. Forsythe’s ability to play all over the diamond will help get Chase some AB’s and Turner some rest when needed.

      At this point in his career Chase uses his experience to be somewhat of a guess hitter in my opinion but if he has something left in the tank he will be a valuable bench piece.

      Both contracts will be cheap and easy to get out of if they don’t make the 25 man.

  3. I have not been a FAZ supporter in the past, but I think they’ve had a great off-season and that this is a great move if the owner’s don’t mind paying for it–great for overall chemistry, including Seager. Never thought I’d say this, but well-done FAZ. This is a master-stroke on the margins–where they love to operate!

  4. Wow. Dodgers have very impressive depth. Who is the primary backup when Seager needs a break?

    Funny that the Giants have Rollins on a camp invite. I really hope he makes the squad. I was a big fan of Utley and Rollins with the Phils and still have immense respect. Utley’s late career has been better than Rollins though.

    The typical Giants fan ( I am atypical ) gripes and groans about management signing vets and not giving “the kids” a chance, such as Kelby Tomlinson, if you recall that more or less punch and judy hitter on the Giants. They should get to see two approximately 28 year old “kids” battle it out in LF. I don’t think they’ll be happy with the result as they are more or less Trayce Thompson at their best.

    1. I bet they do. What’s to stop them? Dodger Way seems lots of capable bodies and depth. Vets will sign on knowing a playoff run is likely. I was truly impressed with Blanton’s bullpen work.

    2. Ray

      If they don’t sign Blanton, I think that is on Blanton.

      He is probably trying to get a two year contract, but he hasn’t signed yet.

      All of these teams are looking for good deals, and there is still a lot of free agents out there, especially with spring training, right around the corner.

  5. I do too Ray.

    Criticizing Utley is one thing (haven’t seen it) but evaluating what he might bring is another. He won’t platoon as that would put Forsythe on the bench 65% of the time. Utley doesn’t project favorably, around .240 BA, less than .700 OPS, .2 WAR, so those nerds who project don’t expect much, but he does bring experience. At $7 million, he’s an expensive bench player. I would be more excited about his return if it were as a coach.

    1. Well said Badger.

      So as long as Seager wants Utley on the team, he’s going to be on the team? Please. So evidently Seager doesn’t want any other youngsters around.

      A GOOD FO DOES WHAT IS BEST FOR THE TEAM.

      They just traded for an everyday 2nd baseman, and sorry Michael they overpaid. The Rays traded high. Evidently they have little faith in their 2nd base acquisition because they would never have done this.

      I thought it was about saving money and getting younger. Please tell me which of these is happening.

      This FO, amongst all of them ZERO TITLES, needs to go back to what they were doing before.

  6. I like Chase, and I assume he was told he would only be an utility player, and he would never pull a Howie, after being told that.

    With the other outfielder, maybe Thompson is still questionable, about when he will be ready to play.

    And it looks like he has been more productive then Scotty, in the last couple years, against lefties.

  7. Not worried about what they’re paying him–but doubt it’s 7 mil. This tells me they’re all in…and probably Utley will remain as coach when he’d all done.

  8. What these last 3 moves do mean is that 3 guys on the current 40 man have to go in one way or another. Trade, DFA, or outright release. I think these moves are definitely the death knell for Ruf, possibly Eibner and one of the pitchers, hopefully Hatcher. I would put Hernandez on that maybe list too. We all know they need to make a move before Wednesday when camp opens.

    1. I suspect Guitierrez replace Eibner on the 40-man. Romo replaces Yimi when he gets moved the 60-day DL. Utley replaces (Taylor, Ruf, or Segedin) unless there is a trade coming or someone else is headed to the 60-day DL like Thompson.

      I think Kike and Thompson start the year at AAA.

      1. Yes, they push 3 guys from the 40, but more importantly they push 3 players off the 25 man. We surely didn’t NEED Utley or Gutierrez as we are already crowded at both second base and in the outfield. There will be intense competition this Spring and I agree there will likely be some trades. The goal is to make us better until November and I think all of this probably does. Hard to know.

        I read $7 million for Utley at TBLA E-Lake

        1. Need may be a strong word but more than likely either Toles or Ethier will be platooning with someone in LF. It sounds like Thompson won’t be ready possibly, SVS has had his share of injuries and might be giving Gonzalez more days off. No doubt FG is an upgrade to Ruf and Eibner.

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