With position players set to report to their Glendale spring-training complex on Sunday, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in serious talks to re-sign veteran second baseman Chase Utley, sources told Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Though he was non-committal about his future following his club's Game 7 loss in the World Series, Utley has been working out at Dodger Stadium of late, according to Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times.
Utley, who turned 39 in December, has spent the last two-and-a-half seasons with Los Angeles, serving as their everyday second baseman in 2016 before transitioning into a semi-regular role last year.
In 2017, as the Dodgers stormed to a fifth straight division title (while managing their best record - 104-58 - since relocating from Brooklyn), Utley hit .236/.324/.405 (92 OPS+) with eight homers and 20 doubles in 353 plate appearances, starting 68 games at second base and another 10 at first. Utley, a World Series champion in 2008, struggled mightily in the postseason, going 0-for-15 with a pair of walks and two HBPs in nine contests.
Since getting traded to Los Angeles in 2015 following an illustrious 13-year tenure with the Philadelphia Phillies, Utley owns a .712 OPS (91 OPS+) in 299 regular-season games.
If Utley does return to the Dodgers, the six-time All-Star would likely serve as a platoon partner to second baseman Logan Forysthe once again while also providing manager Dave Roberts with a left-handed bat off the bench - between Matt Kemp, Trayce Thompson, Kike Hernandez, and Austin Barnes, every tentative Dodgers bench player hits right-handed.
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