Dodgers agree to bring back veteran Utley

Dodgers agree to bring back veteran Utley

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers continued a flurry of late free-agent additions Friday night by agreeing to a one-year contract with veteran Chase Utley. Earlier in the day, they agreed to a deal with outfielder Franklin Gutierrez on the heels of an agreement for reliever Sergio Romo.

The club has not confirmed any of the agreements, as corresponding 40-man roster moves will be needed. Utley's agreement was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

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The 38-year-old Utley, the Dodgers' starting second baseman in 2016, returns in a bench role after the club acquired Logan Forsythe from Tampa Bay in a trade for young pitcher Jose De Leon. Utley had a .252/.319/.396 slash line last year, but had a .768 OPS against right-handed pitching.

Gurnick on Utley's reported deal

Equally important, Utley provides experience and leadership. Last month, Rookie of the Year shortstop Corey Seager credited Utley with mentoring him and expressed hope that the Dodgers would find a way to bring Utley back, despite the acquisition of Forsythe.

Los Angeles president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, who has been committed to adding right-handed hitters to make the Dodgers more effective against left-handed pitching, said last month that if Utley wasn't left-handed he would have already been signed.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.