The Los Angeles Dodgers have re-signed second baseman Chase Utley to a one-year deal, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. The first instinct of a deal came when Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that the deal between the Dodgers and Utley was close.
In August of 2015, the 36-year-old was dealt from the Philadelphia Phillies with cash to the Dodgers for John Richy and Darnell Sweeny.
After coming over in the trade from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, Utley struggled with a .202/.291/.363 slash line, three home runs and nine RBI over 34 games. During the entire 2015 season, Utley logged a .212 average with eight home runs and 39 RBI. It was the six-time All-Star's worst season of his 13-year Major League career.
The 15th overall pick in the 2000 MLB Draft and he debuted at the MLB level three years later. In his rookie season, 2013, Utley hit .239 with two home runs and 21 RBI across 134 at-bats. Over 13 season in Philadelphia, the veteran had played 1551 games, which he accumulated 5,872 at-bats and 1,648 hits.
Utley, who will turn 37 in two weeks, is in line to receive the Opening Day start and most of the starts during the season. The Dodgers would be smart to continue searching for a young infielder for a backup role of Utley. The Dodgers will look to make the playoffs for the fourth-straight season in 2016. Utley has played in 11 postseason series and 49 games. Over those games, the infielder hit .263 with 10 home runs and 25 RBI. He is a solid player and should be able to continue his success because of experience.
Bringing back Utley gives the Dodgers multiple options. They have Jose Peraza and Enrique Hernandez to back up Utley, if needed, while Corey Seager plays shortstop. Because Utley will be 37 in 2016, Los Angeles will use the young players to their advantage in trying keep the veteran second baseman as healthy as possible throughout the season.