On the surface, Chase Utley has made a minimal impact since the Philadelphia Phillies traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August 2015. Yet, he was re-signed by the Dodgers after the 2015 season and again last winter.
The second one-year contract Utley received from the Dodgers came as a surprise, considering it was finalized after the team traded for Logan Forsythe to address second base. Utley’s remained with the Dodgers in large part due to the front office’s affinity for him.
President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and manager Dave Roberts have been unabashed when discussing the impact Utley has on the clubhouse. Specifically, the organization paired the veteran with Corey Seager.
The two have been lockermates since Seager made his MLB debut. Seager’s demeanor and willingness to be coached meshed seamlessly with Utley’s no-nonsense approach.
While Seager and Utley have forged a strong bond, it’s not without some fear, the understudy explained to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“Yeah, absolutely,” Seager says. “I won’t admit it to him. I one hundred percent admit it to people. Won’t ever admit it to him. He can read about it and I’ll be, ‘I didn’t say that.’”
While Seager lightheartedly admitted to being fearful, he went on to praise the Utley for his positive effect on the team:
“I’m telling you it’s a presence. I don’t know. He just brings out something that can’t really be put into words until you see it first hand.”
A prime example of the friendship the teammates share was on full display during Players Weekend, when Utley wore a jersey with the nickname ‘Silver Fox’ across the back. It was not selected by the 38-year-old, but instead Seager.
Although the 22-year-old shortstop had the creativity and initiative to bestow Utley with a nickname, Seager bypassed on one for himself.