When the Philadelphia Phillies traded Chase Utley to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August 2015, it marked the end of an era. Now, another conclusion is on the horizon.
During a press conference at Dodger Stadium on Friday, Utley announced his intention to retire at the conclusion of the 2018 season. “I’m ready to be a full-time dad,” Utley explained.
This year is his 16th in the Majors and fourth (third full season) with the Dodgers. He re-signed with the club on one-year deals following the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
This past winter Utley agreed to return, but on a two-year contract. It was the only multi-year agreement the Dodgers doled out during the offseason.
While his production has waned over recent years, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and the organization as a whole have raved about the veteran’s clubhouse presence.
Utley was initially viewed as a mentor to Corey Seager, and his scope has since expanded to serving as a leader for Kiké Hernandez, among others.
Through 57 games played this season, Utley is batting .231/.313/.331 with eight doubles, one triple, one home run and 14 RBI. The UCLA product missed 19 games because of a left thumb sprain that forced him to the 10-day disabled list.
Utley’s announcement sets the stage for a memorable homecoming when the Dodgers face the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park from July 23-25. Phillies fans gave Utley multiple standing ovations when he returned for the first time in 2016.
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