The slow-moving offseason has resulted in a bevy of veterans, including Chase Utley, remaining available on the open market. Chris Carter, who was in a similar position as Utley, only recently is said to have agreed to a one-year contract with the New York Yankees.
Carter served as the latest example of a slugger who found it difficult to secure a contract this winter. Meanwhile, Utley has reportedly fielded interest from the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, among others.
At the end of January, the 38-year-old reportedly was mulling over multiple contract offers and was believed to be nearing a decision.
According to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, another potential option for Utley may be the reigning American League champion Cleveland Indians, who reportedly are intrigued by the second baseman:
Indians are intrigued a bit by chase utley. Not a perfect fit, though, as they have a star lhh 2B, kipnis.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 8, 2017
Unexpectedly serving as the Dodgers’ primary leadoff hitter last season, Utley batted .252/.319/.396 with 26 doubles, 14 home runs, 52 RBI and a 95 OPS+ in 138 games. He was bothered by foot soreness through much of August and seemingly wore down from playing an everyday role.
Speaking during the club’s FanFest event in January, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman again did not rule out the possibility of re-signing Utley. Friedman added the club likely would have already done so if not for a roster that was comprised of several left-handed hitters.
Corey Seager, who learned from the veteran last season, said he remained hopeful that Utley would return. Whether with the Dodgers, Indians or another club, it’s unlikely Utley will again be an everyday player this season.