Chase Utley and his veteran presence could be coming back to Los Angeles in 2018.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Dodgers are looking to bring back the second baseman:
Utley was originally acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies in August of 2015 and has re-signed with the team in 2016 and 2017. The 39-year-old played in 127 games last season, starting 68 games at second base and 10 at first base. He hit .236/.324/.405 with 20 doubles and eight home runs and then went hitless in 15 postseason at-bats.
Like Heyman said, the Dodgers like him for more than what he does on the field. Utley has helped mentor the younger players, including a strong relationship with Corey Seager. It doesn’t appear much playing time would be in the cards for Utley, barring injury, especially if Logan Forsythe continues his play from the postseason.
It hasn’t felt like Utley was a free agent this postseason considering he’s been seen working out at Dodger Stadium and not much else has been reported with any other teams. The only question is if he’s given a major-league deal or a minor-league deal with invite to spring training.
While not officially official, Chase Utley will indeed be returning to the Dodgers. Multiple reports of Utley’s locker having his gear came from Camelback Ranch this morning.
So it appears Utley is getting a two-year deal but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Utley will be with the team for two years. Based on the front office and previous ways of using the system to its advantage, it would seem like the Dodgers made it a two-year deal in order to reduce his average annual value (AAV) for luxury tax purposes.