Dodgers Rumors: Daniel Murphy, Chase Utley Viewed As Second-Base Options

Dodgers Rumors: Daniel Murphy, Chase Utley Viewed As Second-Base Options

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Yasmani Grandal, Daniel Murphy
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (Nov. 11, 10:10 a.m. PT): According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi confirmed the club’s interest in potentially re-signing Chase Utley:


Along with needing to address their starting rotation, which is said to be a focal point this winter, with Zack Greinke and David Price viewed as the top two options, the Los Angeles Dodgers also have a hole to fill at second base.

Last December, Los Angeles sent All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon in a package to the Miami Marlins, then quickly replaced him by acquiring Howie Kendrick from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Kendrick was in the final year of his contract and became a free agent the morning after the World Series concluded.

There appears to be interest from both the Dodgers and Kendrick on signing a new contract, however Los Angeles is also considering Daniel Murphy and re-signing Chase Utley, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:

They are considering Daniel Murphy and a return of Chase Utley as a couple of the main options. While a return of Howie Kendrick, who played over Utley, also makes sense, they wouldn’t mind a left-handed option who can play both second and third.

Kendrick, 32, is reportedly seeking a minimum of a four-year contract. He was among the players extended the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer, and has yet to formally accept or reject it.

The deadline to do so is Friday at 2 p.m. PT. Following their elimination loss to the New York Mets in the National League Division Series, Kendrick said the Dodgers would be at the top of his list as far as free agency was concerned.

He .295/.336/.409 with nine home runs and 54 RBIs in 117 games played, missing time in August and September due to a strained left hamstring.

Los Angeles declined their club option on Utley for the 2016 season, which was valued at $5-11 million; the total was dependent on time spent on the disabled list last season.

Utley missed 39 games in 2015 (all with the Philadelphia Phillies) due to a right ankle issue. Utley instead received a $2 million buyout, which was paid for by the Phillies, per terms of the trade that sent the veteran second baseman to Los Angeles.

Utley, who will turn 37 years old on Dec. 17, hit .202/.291/.363 in 34 games with the Dodgers. He faces a two-game suspension for a hard slide into second base during Game 2 of the NLDS that broke Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada’s leg.

Murphy had one of the more prolific and historic postseasons in baseball history before his success came to a grinding halt in the World Series. He hit .333/.333/.810 with three home runs and five RBIs in the NLDS, single-handedly lifting the Mets to the NL Championship Series.

Murphy then hit a blistering .529/.556/1.294 with four home runs and six RBIs as New York swept the Chicago Cubs to advance to the World Series. The Fall Classic was a different story for the 30 year old.

Along with struggling at the plate over five games — batting .150/.320/.150 with no extra-base hits, and seven strikeouts to five walks — Murphy committed costly errors in Games 4 and 5.

Coming off an All-Star campaign in 2014, Murphy was near his career averages last season by hitting .281/.322/.449 with 14 home runs, 73 RBIs, a .325 wOBA and 110 wRC+ in 130 games.

However, should the Dodgers sign their 2015 postseason nemesis they would be required to forfeit their first-round pick (25th) in the 2016 draft as the Mets extended Murphy the qualifying offer. Moreover, Murphy would need first need to reject the qualifying offer.

Friedman stated on Monday the club could look within to address their second-base need, with Kiké Hernandez and Jose Peraza in mind.