The Dodgers have officially granted an unconditional release to second baseman Chase Utley, according to an announcement made Friday. Utley is expected to formally retire during the offseason, bringing his storied 16-year career with the Phillies and Dodgers to a close.
The 39-year-old infielder capped his fourth campaign with the Dodgers in 2018, during which he managed a .213/.305/.305 batting line with just one home run and three stolen bases across 187 plate appearances. The downward slope of his career trajectory was hastened by several injuries — notably, a left thumb sprain and a bout of left wrist inflammation — and he finished the year with just 87 games under his belt, his lowest single-season total since 2012.
Despite the setbacks Utley weathered during his final season in the majors, he leaves behind a remarkable legacy as a prolific hitter and much-beloved personality. Between 2006 and 2010, he earned five straight All-Star nominations with Philadelphia and was awarded four Silver Sluggers in that span, to boot. Setting aside regular-season accolades, the hot-hitting infielder also hitched his wagon to six playoff-qualifying teams from 2007 to 2017 and helped carry the Phillies to a World Series victory (their first in nearly two decades) in 2008.
Utley originally announced his intent to retire back in July. At the time, he told reporters the decision was spurred by his desire to spend more time with his family. It’s not yet clear when his retirement will be made official or whether he intends to sign a one-day deal with the Phillies before hanging up his cleats for good.