Utley batted.236 with a.316 wOBA, 8 home runs, 6 steals, and 43 runs scored in 353 plate appearances in 2017.
In addition to his 68 starts at second base previous year, Utley also started 10 games at first base. In just over half the amount of at-bats he had in 2016, Utley hit just six doubles less than he did 2016 total with 20. Though terms have yet to be announced, the Utley and the Dodgers have been in serious talks about a deal for some time, making this conclusion al but inevitable. Utley has gained likeability among the players, coaches and the fans.
This is more about Utley's value to the clubhouse than anything else. Utley filled in at second base when Forsythe missed a month with a broken toe early last season.
Utley will begin the season firmly behind Logan Forsythe on the depth chart at second base. His flexibility to play first or second base will go a long way in 2018 with Adrian Gonzalez (who would have backed up Bellinger) now on the Mets.
The 39-year-old Utley earned the multi-year deal because of his clubhouse presence and ability to play multiple infield positions. Flexibility is key to bringing productive offense on the field and Utley will continue that trend. He hasn't been the same player with the Dodgers that he was for so many years with Philly, but Utley can still play. But cleats with the No. 26 on them and gloves with his name were in it and boxes addressed to "Chase Utley" were stacked in front of it.