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Chase Utley to re-sign with Dodgers


Free agent second baseman Chase Utley reportedly has a one-year contract in place with the Dodgers, says Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times. The club has not yet confirmed the deal or reported its terms.

The 2017 season will mark Utley’s third run with the Dodgers and 15th in the majors. Selecting a team looked like a laborious process for the veteran infielder, who was exclusively considering contending clubs and had narrowed the list to four teams on Thursday.

The 38-year-old polished off a two-year stint with the Dodgers in 2016, batting .252/.319/.396 with 14 home runs and a .716 OPS. It’s the best offensive output Utley has managed since his last All-Star season in 2014, but he figures to occupy a more limited role this year since the team traded for 30-year-old infielder Logan Forsythe last month.

While Utley adjusts to his part-time responsibilities on the field, his presence and leadership in the clubhouse should benefit at least one fellow infielder:

Jeff Samardzija to undergo MRI on right shoulder

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Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.

This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.

Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.