After playing nearly his entire MLB career with the Phillies, until a few months ago when traded to the Dodgers, Chase Utley wants to finish his career playing in his home state.
According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the Padres, Dodgers, and Angels have shown the most interest in free-agent second baseman Chase Utley.
The Padres are the latest Calif. team to show strong interest in Chase Utley. Reported earlier that the Angels & Dodgers had interest.
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 4, 2015
Stark also reported that close friends of Utley stated he prefers to play in his home state of California so this could be a tactic to start a bidding war amongst the interested teams that make the most sense for him.
It’s a bit surprising for the San Diego Padres to have strong interest due to the amount of depth they have in the organization, with Jedd Gyorko, Jose Pirela, Cory Spangenberg, Yangervis Solarte and recently acquired Carlos Asuaje unless there are plans to make a trade very soon. The Angels could look to use Utley both at second base and designated hitter next season depending on match-ups, while the Dodgers could use Utley as a short-term stopgap to prospect Jose Peraza, who debuted with the Dodgers in 2015 but received just 25 plate appearances in the Majors.
According to ESPN’s Mark Saxon, the Dodgers covet Utley as a left-handed batter and backup infielder.
The Dodgers continue to talk to Chase Utley about returning. They want a veteran backup infielder who bats left-handed
— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) December 2, 2015
Utley appeared in 34 games for Los Angeles, and struggled with a .202 batting average.