The Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to one-year deals with Chase Utley and Franklin Gutierrez, with latest MLB news confirming the acquisition this weekend. The Dodgers continue their active free agency in 2017 hoping to improve from last season’s performance.
The Dodgers were one of the World Series title contenders last year. They won 91 games against 71 losses to finish at the top of the National League West division. They lost to eventual champions Chicago Cubs in the NL Championship Series in five games.
Veteran leadership from Utley, Gutierrez for the Dodgers
“Sources: Gutierrez gets $2.6M plus 400 incentives on his #dodgers deal,” Jon Heyman from the MLB Network confirmed on Twitter. “Chase Utley is coming back to the Dodgers on a one-year deal, according to a person with knowledge of the situation,” Andy McCullogh from the Los Angeles Times added.
Guttierrez’s one-year deal is worth $2.6 million, according to reports. Utley’s deal has not yet been publicly disclosed yet.
The Dodgers re-signed Utley after two years with the team (2015 and 2016 seasons). They signed Gutierrez in free agency after he spent the last seven seasons with the Seattle Mariners. Both Utley, 38 and Gutierrez, 33 are veterans expected to provide the team stability and leadership from their positions.
Corey Seager, who won the National League Rookie of the Year, has stated recently that Utley played a big role in his development. Seager made the MLB All-Star team in 2016.
Guttierez, Utley to play major roles next season
“Once a top-flight defensive center fielder, his athletic ability has deteriorated due to repeated injuries. Last season marked the first time since 2011 he’d appeared in at least 80 games. Still, Gutierrez provides value by being an asset against left-handed pitching,” R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports wrote.
The 11-year veteran Gutierrez is an outfielder who hit .246 bating average with 14 home runs and 39 RBIs for the Mariners last year. Meanwhile, Utley is a 13-year veteran who had 129 hits, 52 RBIs and 14 home runs in 512 at bats for the Dodgers last season.
The Dodgers started Utley last season but he is expected to assume a bench role for L.A. in the upcoming MLB season. Los Angeles acquired Logan Forsythe from the Tampa Bay Rays in an earlier trade this winter.
Both veterans are expected to play major roles next MLB season. Both will be important in the MLB postseason, when they are expected to try and better last year’s performance.