The Dodgers have agreed to a two-year deal with second baseman Chase Utley, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. It’s expected to be worth $2 million, per Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times.
Heyman reported the sides were in serious talks Monday night.
Utley has now re-signed with Los Angeles in three consecutive winters, earning a $7 million deal for 2016 and a $2 million contract a year ago. The 39-year-old may not be producing at the levels that made him a legend in Philadelphia, but his clubhouse presence as a veteran appears important enough to the Dodgers to give him a roster spot.
Utley hit .236/.324/.405 with eight homers in 127 games for L.A. in his fifteenth major-league season in 2017, seeing time at both first and second base for the NL Champion Dodgers. He’ll once again serve as a backup option to Cody Bellinger and Logan Forsythe.
Utley is just the second free-agent signing of the winter for the quiet Dodgers, who inked righty Tom Koehler to a $2 million deal in December. Los Angeles has also added Matt Kemp and lefty reliever Scott Alexander this winter while losing Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Charlie Culberson (in a trade with Atlanta) and Brandon Morrow, Curtis Granderson and Yu Darvish as free agents.
The two-year deal will almost certainly be the last of Utley’s career, as he will be heading into his age-41 campaign when the contract expires after 2019.