The Los Angeles Dodgers have announced the signing of infielder Chase Utley to a one-year contract. Other outlets have reported that the deal is worth $2 million.
Utley, 38, had a starting role at second base last season, as he surprisingly managed to avoid any significant injuries. He also produced, batting .252 with 26 doubles, three triples, 14 home runs and 52 RBI in 138 games as the Dodgers’ primary leadoff hitter.
Because the Dodgers traded this offseason for second baseman Logan Forsythe, Utley is now projected to be a utility player, likely seeing action in a backup role at second and first base. It will be his third season with the club.
Utley's most important contributions may come off the field however, as he is a smart and tough player who is highly respected by his teammates. He was honored last year with the Roy Campanella Award, which is voted upon by Dodger uniformed personnel, and is given to the player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame catcher. He also was given the MLB Players Alumni Association’s Heart and Hustle Award.
A former Long Beach Poly and UCLA Bruin alum, Utley is a six-time All-Star (2006-10, 2014) and four-time National League Silver Slugger winner (2006-09) who has a career .278 batting average with 250 home runs and 977 RBI in 14 big league seasons with the Phillies (2003-15) and Dodgers (2015-16).
Utley ranks among active second basemen in games played (1722, 3rd), runs (1042, 3rd), hits (1777, 3rd), doubles (381, 2nd), triples (53, 1st), home runs (250, 2nd), RBI (977, 2nd), walks (675, 2nd), on-base percentage (.361, 2nd), slugging percentage (.472, 2nd), extra-base hits (684, 2nd) and total bases (3014, 2nd)
Utley has appeared in 59 career postseason games, recording a .241/.377/.441 slashline, going 47-for-195 with seven doubles, a triple, 10 home runs and 27 RBI, and was a member of the 2008 World Series champion Phillies.
To create room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers released infielder/outfielder Darin Ruf from their roster. Ruf was acquired by the Dodgers from Philadelphia on Nov. 11, 2016 with Darnell Sweeney in exchange for Howie Kendrick.
Dodgers deal reliever Vidal Nuno
The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired minor league right-handed pitcher Ryan Moseley from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for left-handed pitcher Vidal Nuño. Apparently, the Dodgers felt they had a surplus of lefty arms in their bullpen.
Moseley, 22, made his professional debut last season with the Orioles’ Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds, going 0-1 with four saves and posting a 3.20 ERA (7 ER/19.2 IP) in 12 relief appearances. Moseley posted a 1.12 WHIP and limited batters to a .191 average, including a .091 mark (2-for-22) against lefties.
Nuño, 29, has a 5-20 record with a 4.02 ERA in 126 games (42 starts) in four Major League seasons with the Yankees (2013-14), D-backs (2014-15) and Mariners (2015-16).
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services