Video: Phillies fans give Chase Utley a standing ovation for hitting a home run against the Phillies

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Tuesday night marked Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley‘s first game back in Philadelphia since the Phillies traded him to the Dodgers in August 2015. Utley, selected by the Phillies in the first round of the 2000 draft, spent parts of 13 seasons with the club, helping them win the World Series in 2008 and win the NL East in five consecutive seasons from 2007-11.

Unsurprisingly, Utley got a hero’s welcome from the crowd at Citizens Bank Park when he stepped to the plate to lead off Tuesday night’s game. He received a standing ovation that lasted nearly a minute and a half.

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The crowd shortly thereafter booed home plate umpire Ron Kulpa when he called a strike against him. Utley would strike out looking.

Utley stepped to the plate for the third time in the top of the fifth inning and drilled a Vincent Velasquez fastball for a no-doubt solo home run to right-center field, pushing the Dodgers’ lead to 3-1. As he normally does, Utley motored around the bases. Despite wearing a Dodgers uniform, the fans at Citizens Bank Park gave him a standing ovation.

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After Utley returned to the dugout, the crowd wanted a curtain call and Utley did not disappoint.

The last four years of Utley’s time in Philly were marred by injuries, but from 2005 to ’09, the only player to rack up more Wins Above Replacement than Utley (38.4) was Albert Pujols (40.7; won three MVP awards in this span), according to FanGraphs. It’s easy to see why he has become such an icon.


Update (9:45 PM EDT): Utley hit a grand slam in the top of the seventh inning, boosting the Dodgers’ lead to 13-2. He gave the cheering crowd another curtain call.

Rays’ Díaz gets $24 million, three-year deal, avoids arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract on Tuesday that avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Díaz’s agreement could be worth $36 million over four seasons.

The 31-year old will receive $6 million this season, $8 million in 2024 and $10 million for 2025. The 2026 club is $12 million with no buyout. There is a $1 million assignment bonus that would be payable by receiving team.

Díaz has spent parts of six seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-22). He has a career average of .278 with 39 home runs and 198 RBIs.

Acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade on Dec. 13, 2018, Díaz hit .296 with nine homers and 57 RBIs in 137 games last season, He career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 doubles, and 78 walks.

Díaz was the third Rays’ arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal.

Reliever Pete Fairbanks agreed Friday to a $12 million, three-year contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs also agreed last week to a $31 million, four-year contract that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old began last season in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, and outfielder Harold Ramírez.