LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Friday declined the 2016 club option on second baseman Chase Utley, making him a free agent.
The Dodgers acquired Utley from the Phillies on Aug. 19, and the 36-year-old hit .202/.291/.363 with three home runs and nine doubles in 34 games in Los Angeles. Utley started 25 games at second base for the Dodgers and three more at third base, his first major league time at the hot corner.
Utley on the season hit .212/.286/.343 with eight home runs and 21 doubles in 107 games.
Utley's contract called for vesting options for each year from 2016-2018, triggered with 500 plate appearances in the previous season. Utley had 423 PA in 2015, converting the 2016 option to a club option worth $11 million. The value of the option could have been between $5-11 million depending on time on the active roster in 2015. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com explained in August 2013:
The Phillies can bring back Utley on a club option, even if he does not reach the 500-plate appearance threshold. That option can be at one of four levels: $5 million, $7 million, $9 million or $11 million. Each level is based on days on the active roster. For example, if Utley is active for 125 days he would receive $11 million the following season. The fewer active days he spends on the roster, the less the option.
Utley spent 45 days on the disabled list with right ankle inflammation, meaning he was on an active roster for 138 days in 2015, making his 2016 option worth $11 million.
The Dodgers were responsible for $2.13 million of Utley's $10 million salary in 2015, and the Phillies agreed to pay the $2 million cost if his option was declined.
"One hundred percent, he is playing next year," Utley's agent Joel Wolfe told Joel Sherman of the New York Post on Oct. 27.