Dodgers re-sign veteran second baseman, Chase Utley.
It looks like next year Chase Utley will again be wearing Dodger blue.
The Dodgers have agreed on a one-year deal according to Jeff Passan’s, of Yahoo! Sports. The 36 year old played in 34 games last season with a batting average of .202. He joined the team after being traded in August from the Philadelphia Phillies. Before joining the Dodgers, Utley had played all 12 of his major league seasons with the Phillies since his debut on April 4, 2003.
Though his numbers do not show it, Chase is a solid back up second baseman for the Dodgers. Last season he proved that he can be versatile as he learned how to play third base and even appeared at first base. Chase proved to be an “old school” tough player when he was involved in a controversial slide in game 2 of the NLDS against the Mets. Utley took a lot of heat for the slide, but by doing so proved to be a player willing to “take one for the team”. Chase is also still facing a potential 2 game suspension for the slide that broke Ruben Tejada’s leg.
The Dodgers are hoping he can wake up his bat a little more going into the 2016 season. If Chase can keep up the solid defensive plays and have successful at bats, he will be just what the Dodgers are looking for when it comes to a back-up infielder. Utley also brings leadership and a veteran presence to the clubhouse. The 36 year-old has been a part of the game since he was drafted in 2000. He is a valued veteran player who can help lead the way for other young Dodger rookies such as Corey Seager and Jose Peraza, who both play the infield.
By re-signing Chase it is unlikely that the Dodgers are going to re-sign Howie Kendrick as well. Utley was the cheaper and easier deal. The Dodgers got a backup second baseman for one year because Chase knows he may not play the game much longer. If the Dodgers pursued Howie more intensely, they would have probably had to of give up much more money for multiple years.