Ryan Kang/Associated Press
The Los Angeles Dodgers are pondering a possible reunion with free-agent second baseman Chase Utley, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Monday.
Utley spent the last two-and-a-half seasons with the Dodgers. He batted .240 with 25 home runs and 95 RBI in 299 games in Los Angeles.
Signing Utley would give Los Angeles a little more middle infield depth, especially after the team exercised Logan Forsythe’s option for the 2018 season. More importantly, Los Angeles would value his experience, with Heyman reporting the Dodgers “love his abject professionalism.”
L.A. shortstop Corey Seager, whose locker was next to Utley’s, struggled to accurately describe Utley’s impact when discussing the 15-year veteran last October, per the Orange County Register‘s Bill Plunkett:
“He’s a hard bird to kind of explain to people. I tell people all the time, ‘I can tell you all the stories. I can tell you how he is. And you’re going to look at me sideways and ask what’s so great about him?’ I’m telling you it’s a presence. I don’t know. He just brings out something that can’t really be put into words until you see it first hand.”
Beyond the lift Utley would provide in the locker room, he’d give Dodgers manager Dave Roberts another option off the bench when he wants to rest Forsythe.
The difference between Utley and Enrique Hernandez is negligible offensively, but the left-handed Utley can give Los Angeles the platoon advantage when a right-hander is on the mound.
The Dodgers may envision using spring training to see if Utley can contribute at the plate before they commit to putting him on their Opening Day roster.