Spectrum SportsNet LA announced their comprehensive, all-access programming schedule for coverage of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 2019 season, and it included introducing Chase Utley as a studio analyst.
He joins Nomar Garciaparra and Jerry Hairston Jr. as former Dodgers infielders who are part of the SportsNet LA broadcast team. It also includes heralded pitcher Orel Hershiser.
After joining the Dodgers in an August 2015 trade, Utley re-signed a one-year contract with the team both after that season and 2016. He then remained with the Dodgers by agreeing to a two-year deal following the 2017 season.
However, Utley announced last July that the 2018 campaign would be his last as a player so he could spend more time with family. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has long held the organization would keep a role open for Utley whenever he decided to retire.
Friedman, as well as Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, reiterated that stance once Utley made his intentions clear last summer. In December, Friedman confirmed Utley was expected to join the Dodgers front office.
The 40-year-old has been in camp at Camelback Ranch on multiple instances during Spring Training, though the team has yet to finalize or announce his hiring. Roberts said the Dodgers were comfortable with Utley going about however he pleased.
“We want to give Chase as much latitude as he wants,” Roberts explained near the end of February. “He’s going to be in town for a few days, and then he’ll come back again and again. Just kind of getting the landscape and the footing, talking to Minor League players.
“Hopefully he’ll connect with Lux and Estevez and some of the middle infielders, and just kind of figuring out where he fits.”