It’s been quite a while since Chase Utley was one of the best hitters in baseball, but even at almost 37, there are plenty of teams interested in signing him, and especially the Los Angeles Dodgers (his current team), Los Angeles Angels and San Diego Padres.
After 13 seasons in Major League Baseball that include winning the World Series and making another with the Philadelphia Phillies, Utley is looking to sign with a team in California preferably, which makes the three we mentioned favorites to land him, although there’s reportedly at least five or six other teams looking to sign him. None of them, surprisingly, are the New York Mets. They probably haven’t been talking to Utley’s agent.
Obviously, there’s more than just location to it. It’s about the role a team intends to use him in. The Padres might be offering the most playing time than anyone else, but Utley didn’t feel too bad during his short stint with the Dodgers, even though he stole the show from everyone while the Mets knocked them out of the playoffs. The Angels might not intend to bring him in as an everyday lineup player, but that doesn’t rule them out of the running.
After making $15 million in each of the last six seasons, Utley might find it difficult to get anything remotely close to those sums, and even a multiyear deal. He’s no longer the All-Star or silver slugger he was, hitting just .212 in 2015 for both the Phillies and the Dodgers with 8 home runs and 39 RBIs in 107 games. He did pretty well in three games for the Dodgers in the playoffs, but a few days of solid hitting isn’t something to go by.
Utley will be 37 in less than two weeks. He has played his entire career until midway through last season in Philadelphia, making the All-Star game six times, winning four silver slugger awards. He has been batting .281 since 2003, hitting 236 home runs and 925 RBIs.