Utley underwent MRI on right knee Saturday

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From Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly comes word that second baseman Chase Utley underwent an MRI on his right knee Saturday.

The test showed no structural damage, but Utley is battling patellar tendinitis and won’t play in the Phillies’ first handful of Grapefruit League games.

The Phillies are also going to limit the amount of running and fielding drills that he participates in for the next week, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Utley, 32, played in only 115 games last season, but that was because of a thumb injury. This new knee issue should blow over with several days of rest and rehab. He was not administered a cortisone or lubricant shot and Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. didn’t sound all that concerned when he addressed the matter on Sunday morning in camp.

A.J. Pollock may be the Dodgers’ next free agent target

A.J. Pollock
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Free agent outfielder A.J. Pollock has landed on the Dodgers’ radar, and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal says the two appear to be in discussions regarding a deal for 2019. Terms of any prospective deal have not been released, but interest is presumed to be fairly high as he checks two boxes on their wish list: that of a right-handed hitter and an experienced centerfielder.

Pollock, 31, rounded out a seven-year career with the Diamondbacks in 2018. While he was sidelined for nearly seven weeks after fracturing his left thumb on a dive gone wrong, he finished the season batting a hearty .257/.316/.484 with a career-best 21 home runs, 13 steals (in 15 chances), and 2.5 fWAR across 460 plate appearances. He received a $17.9 million qualifying offer from the club at the end of the year and elected to enter free agency in hopes of a better deal, which some have estimated at five years and $80 million.

So far, it’s not clear whether teams are willing to meet those terms. Pollock profiles as both a solid hitter and defender, but he hasn’t played a season in full health since 2015, which may be a deal-breaker for those in search of long-term talent. Even with that caveat, however, the Dodgers are far from the only club willing to enter negotiations with the outfielder this winter. The Braves have been linked to Pollock since December, and the Mets and Reds have expressed varying levels of interest as well.