Dodgers: The Silver Fox is Back in Blue for the 2018 Season
By Jacob Rudner
The Dodgers have resigned 39-year-old second baseman Chase Utley, on a one year deal. The deal came after reports that the team already had a locker set up at spring training for Utley.
Editor’s Note: Jon Heyman is now reporting the deal is a two year deal.
The deal hasn’t been officially announced but is supposed to be a one year deal. Utley has spent the last three and half seasons in Los Angeles and has been a regular contributor to the lineup despite his age. Last year, Utley hit .236 with eight home runs across 127 games. Utley also accomplished a rather impressive feat last year with the bat. In just over half the amount of at-bats he had in 2016, Utley hit just six doubles less than he did 2016 total with 20. Utley has also shown that he still has his speed even in his late thirties. Utley stole six bases in 2017 and was caught just one time.
A Chase Utley resigning felt somewhat inevitable. The Dodgers have been in search of a veteran bat to come off the bench and the rapport between the Silver Fox and the Dodgers is strong. Utley has gained likeability among the players, coaches and the fans.
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But, perhaps the most important factor in the decision to bring back Utley is what he brings to the team off the field. Utley is known for his level-headed demeanor and his clubhouse presence. For such a low price, Utley still makes sense for the Dodgers.
Finally, Utley was a serious contributor last year with Logan Forsythe dealing with multiple injuries and a slump that lasted almost the entire season. He was used on a regular base at second base and was also a contributor at first base to cover for Cody Bellinger. His flexibility to play first or second base will go a long way in 2018 with Adrian Gonzalez (who would have backed up Bellinger) now on the Mets. The Dodgers over the past three years have shown a fondness for players who can be used in different positions on the field. Flexibility is key to bringing productive offense on the field and Utley will continue that trend.
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The signing could very well mark the end of the offseason for the Dodgers with their roster looking full and the remaining free agents demanding significant amounts of money. A reunion with Chase Utley should be very good for the team and should make fans very happy. Utley is still a productive player with a keen ability to work with players and coaches. The Silver Fox should yet again excite Dodger fans.