-The K Zone-
February 10th 2017
by Mike Duffy
Growing up in Pasadena led Chase Utley to be a huge Dodger fan as a kid. During the 2015 season he was traded and got to play for his home team! Then following the 2016 season he became a free agent and was thought to be replaced soon after. In the past week there were rumors flying around that Utley was mulling over his offers and that he was ready to sign in the next few days. As of the morning of February 10th he had narrowed his choice between 4 contending teams which included the Indians and the Dodgers. All day people were talking about the potential deal with Utley and the Indians while they had given up on the idea of him reuniting with the Dodgers. In the recent few weeks SS Corey Seager and Manager Dave Roberts have been campaigning for a return of Utley while the GM Andrew Friedman said the Dodgers would have re-signed Chase Utley months ago if lineup wasn’t so LHH-heavy, but, “Never say never with a guy like Chase,” he said.
But as of 8:30pm on Friday night both Utley and the Dodgers have agreed to another one-year deal rumored to be between $3 to $6 Million. The way he plays and the respect he has for the game is unheard of. Every player that gets to know him realizes how much of an asset he is to any team he plays for, either on the field or off the field where he shows how good of a role model he is. When he plays he’s always there to win. And at 38 years old there is no slowing him down. He is my role model everyday and when I believed that the Dodgers might not bring Utley back because they traded Jose de Leon for Loagan Forsythe instead of re-signing Utley, I was extremely upset! Utley, he might not be the best 2nd baseman anymore, but at least you know what you’re getting. He will be a solid backup to the righty Forsythe and will mantain a .250-.260 batting average with 10 home runs.
He also makes the players around him better. With the Phillies and as we see here the Dodgers:
Batting average of the Dodgers in correlation to Utley coming:
The year before Utley came: .255
The year Utley came: .274
The 2nd year with Utley: .266
Now he has taken on the job of being Corey Seager’s mentor and they have a great chemistry which has helped Corey develop as a star player and Rookie of the Year. The Dodgers aren’t going to play Utley much and instead they will mostly use him as a mentor for the young guys. But that’s okay with me because at least he’s a Dodger!