Chase Utley was a very good player for a very long time.
Multiple All-Star appearances, top 10 MVP votes, and Silver Slugger Awards and in his peak he was still somehow underappreciated as a guy that consistently put up 7+ WAR seasons while manning second base for the Philadelphia Phillies. He was a member of the 2008 Phillies squad that won the World Series and he put up 9.0 rWAR that year (he finished 14th in MVP voting largely because Ryan Howard hit a lot of dingers while putting up a 1.8 WAR season).
However, in recent years, Utley’s production has dropped off precipitously. Since joining the Dodgers in 2015, Chase has not put up more than 1.9 WAR in a season and has become a bit of a punchline in some circles for how hard he has been trying to get hit by pitches rather than hit them. Time catches up with us all, and earlier today...we started to get a clue that the end was coming.
Chase Utley will be holding a press conference this afternoon at Dodger Stadium. You can surmise the topic.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) July 13, 2018
While Chase isn’t anywhere close to the player he used to be and the his hair is now turning grey, it was still hard to believe that he is calling it a career. Utley has been in baseball for 16 seasons and has put together a career that seems ripe for an induction into the Hall of Fame one day. However, that is exactly what is going to happen.
I have been told plan with Utley is to announce he is retiring effective at the end of this season (he has a contract for next year). #Dodgers— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 13, 2018
Chase Utley has posted 65.6 rWAR and, if JAWS rankings mean anything in terms of how likely a player is to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, he will be in Cooperstown. He may not end up as a first ballot guy simply because he does not seem to endear himself to media types, but the performance over the course of his career is undeniable. In a few hours, it appears that he will announce that he is calling it a day.
It is worth mentioning that we do not know for sure that that is exactly Utley will announce this afternoon, but there are a lot of beat writers and reporters reporting that that is the expectation so we are comfortable reporting it as such.
In 16 seasons with the Phillies and Dodgers, Utley has slashed .276/.358/.466 with 259 home runs, 153 stolen bases, 1880 hits, and 201 hit by pitches.