MLB Rumors: Chase Utley Mulling Over Multiple Contract Offers, Nearing Decision
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers may have concluded their search for a second baseman by acquiring Logan Forsythe in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, but it has not quelled much conversation involving Chase Utley.

The veteran infielder was among the Dodgers’ nine players to reach free agency at the outset of the season, and multiple members of the organization have championed his potential return. Speaking from Dodgers FanFest on Saturday, 2016 National League Rookie of the Year Corey Seager said he was holding out hope Utley would re-sign with the club.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently referred to the 38-year-old as his ‘favorite player of all time.’ Last October, Dodgers president of baseball operations spoke highly of Utley, citing the importance of his intangibles and presence in the clubhouse.

On Saturday, Friedman reiterated the club has maintained contact with the 14-year veteran. According to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, Utley has received multiple offers and is nearing a decision in free agency:

Aside from the Dodgers, Utley has fielded interest this offseason from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. If the Dodgers did not have a roster heavy on left-handed hitters, Friedman surmised the club possibly would have already re-signed Utley.

He hit .252/.319/.396 with 26 doubles, 14 home runs, 52 RBI and a 95 OPS+ in 138 games last season. Multiple injuries required the Dodgers to unexpectedly lean on Utley as their everyday second baseman and leadoff hitter.

That took its toll, and Utley’s effectiveness waned as the season progressed. With or without Forsythe in the picture, a potential reunion between the Dodgers and Utley figured to come under the pretense of him filling a role off the bench.