Dodgers sign Chase Utley to one-year deal
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the signing of infielder Chase Utley to a one-year contract.
Utley, 38, batted .252 with 26 doubles, three triples, 14 home runs and 52 RBI in 138 games as the Dodgers’ primary leadoff hitter last year, his second season with the club. He contributed in all facets of the game, and was honored 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, as well as the MLB Players Alumni Association’s Heart and Hustle Award.
Utley was originally acquired by Los Angeles from Philadelphia on Aug. 19, 2015 in exchange for two minor leaguers and has batted .242 with 17 home runs and 61 RBI in 172 games since joining the Dodgers.
The six-time All-Star (2006-10, 2014) and four-time National League Silver Slugger winner (2006-09) 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.
Utley was originally selected by the Dodgers in the second round of the 1997 First-Year Player Draft out of Long Beach Poly High School, but did not sign and attended UCLA. He was then selected by the Phillies in the first round (15th overall) of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft and went on to rank among the club’s franchise leaders in games played (1551, 8th), hits (1623, 9th), runs (949, 6th), doubles (346, 5th), home runs (233, 6th), RBI (916, 7th) and walks (625, 10th).
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.
Photos by Claudia Gestro