Utley plans to retire at end of season
LOS ANGELES — Chase Utley will retire from baseball at the end of this season, capping a 16-year career that included a World Series championship with the Phillies and an elder-statesman role with the Dodgers.
The six-time All-Star said he’s leaving to spend more time with his wife and two young sons. Utley announced his decision Friday at a jammed news conference in the basement of Dodger Stadium, with several of his teammates surprising him by crowding into the small, steamy room.
“I just want you guys to know that I’ve signed a five-year extension,” Utley deadpanned, drawing laughter from manager Dave Roberts, Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, Alex Wood, Andrew Toles, Joc Pederson, Logan Forsythe and Ross Stripling.
Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw sat on the floor in a corner, with Matt Kemp, Rich Hill, Corey Seager, Austin Barnes and Kenta Maeda joining him.
The 2019 season would have been the final year of a two-year, $2 million contract for Utley.
“I’m no spring chicken,” Utley said. “My hair is going gray. There’s a lot of things letting me know it’s time.”
Utley has been influential in the clubhouse with the Dodgers’ young roster, but his role has been reduced from starter in 2016 to platoon player last year to part-time starter and pinch hitter this season.
“(He’s) probably the most well-respected guy in our clubhouse, just (because of ) the way he treats people (and) how consistent he’s been,” Roberts said.
Utley has a .276 career average with 259 home runs. He is renowned for his base-stealing ability, with 153 steals in 175 attempts.