Although there’s been reported interest from multiple clubs, free agency has been a slow-moving process for Chase Utley. Most recently, the veteran second baseman was said to have been on the radar of the Cleveland Indians.
Earlier this offseason, Utley was connected to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Dodgers president of baseball operations said last month the club likely would have re-signed Utley, if not for a roster that already features a slew of left-handed hitters.
Los Angeles addressed their void at second base by trading for Logan Forsythe. Despite that, Friedman did not rule out the possibility of Utley returning.
Similar to a report that surfaced at the end of January indicating Utley was nearing a decision, the 38-year-old is now said to be considering four teams, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
Source: Free agent Chase Utley getting closer to decision. Only considering contenders. Down to four teams.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 10, 2017
Utley hit .252/.319/.396 with 26 doubles, 14 home runs, 52 RBI and a 95 OPS+ in 138 games last season. He was relied on to serve as the Dodgers’ leadoff hitter, which was a role Utley fared well in until the rigors of playing everyday took its toll.
Beyond production on the field, Utley drew regular praise for leadership and clubhouse presence during his tenure with the Dodgers. He was particularly influential on Corey Seager during his rookie season.
Speaking during Dodgers FanFest, Seager restated his hope that Utley would re-sign with the Dodgers. Should that come to fruition, he presumably will be slated to come off the bench for Los Angeles.