As the dust settles on the 2017 MLB season and the Houston Astros celebrate their first World Series title in franchise history, it is now time to look ahead and dissect what seemingly will be a busy off season for the Major Leagues. Sure players will go from team to team and maybe if we get lucky a blockbuster trade will happen which might alter the power structure of the upcoming season. The Phillies should stay mostly dormant when it comes to free agency and instead of making a huge investment in a big name, the team should save their money for the future. However, there is one player they should definitely sign this off season and that is Chase Utley.
Chase was a huge factor in the Los Angeles Dodgers run to the World Series and he was praised by the coaching staff for his leadership qualities he showed to the young players in the clubhouse. As much as this pains me to say, though it seems his skill set has diminished on the field as he will be turning 39 years old in December. His career seems to be on the down side of things and his performance in the playoffs backs up that theory. He did not have a hit in the playoffs and he finished 0-15 in the post season. This might have been the final run for Chase Utley, which would be the end of a remarkable career in the big leagues for the once perennial all star.
That is exactly why the Philadelphia Phillies should sign Chase Utley to a one day contract, so he can retire for the team where his career flourished. Maybe it is the nostalgia in me but Chase Utley will forever be remembered as a Philadelphia Phillie. There is no argument that Utley will be remembered as the greatest second basemen for the Phillies organization. He was a huge fan favorite for a franchise that drafted him in the first round of the 2000 draft. Phillies fans everywhere will always remember his aggressive play on the field as well as his tenacity to win. These qualities were highlighted in the 2008 season, when Chase and company hoisted the World Series title in front of the sold-out crowd at Citizens Bank Park after their game 5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. Chase was a huge part of that championship team and it is hard to argue that the Phillies would have been champions without his presence in the clubhouse that year.
As Harry Kalas once famously stated, “Chase Utley you are the Man.” Those words are forever etched in Phillies folklore as Utley proved Harry correct. Chase’s remarkable playing career might have seen it’s last day but the Hollywood ending he deserves shouldn’t be in Los Angeles. The Phillies front office should extend an olive branch and thank him for changing around the fortunes of a franchise that so desperately needed a championship. This team did not have a lot to root for in 2017 but if Chase Utley retires as a Phillie that might be the ending to the season this organization needs.
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