Culver City Observer -

Dodgers Will Chase A Championship With Utley

 

August 20, 2015

By Mitch Chortkoff

Sports Editor

Realizing they're in a torrid stretch drive to complete the 2015 season, the Dodgers traded for second baseman Chase Utley on Wednesday.

The 36-year-old Utley has been a longtime star player for the Philadelphia Phillies. He hadn't been productive earlier this season but has been outstanding recently after recovering from an ankle injury. He's had 15 hits in 31 at bats.

He has $6 million remaining on his 2015 contract but the Phillies are going to pay $4 million of that amount.

Quite simply, the Dodgers' owners believe the addition of one premier player can make a very major difference for the playoffs and the chance for a Dodgers World Series victory for the first time since 1988.

Shortstop Jimmy Rollins, a longtime teammate of Utley with the Phillies, said "the Dodgers were always Chase's favorite team back then."

Utley grew up in Long Beach.

Utley helped the Phillies win the World Series in 2008. But the Phillies are a long way from being a contender now and are getting some big salaries off their payroll.

"It's time," said Utley.

Utley will likely be the Dodgers' second baseman for the next three weeks while Howie Kendrick recovers from a hamstring injury.

Former major league outfielder and current TV baseball analyst Eric Byrnes applauds the Dodgers for making the move.

Since they only gave up two minor league players in the deal the gamble is strictly about money. Unlike previous Dodger owner Frank McCourt, the present owners are willing to spend with a championship in mind.

"I was playing for UCLA when Chase joined us," said Byrnes. "From the first day we could see he was special.

"Whatever his batting average was this season the Dodgers will benefit from having him in a championship drive."

The Dodgers' next three series will be especially challenging. They've lost their last two games to Oakland. They'll play in Houston this weekend and then they'll host the Cubs and Giants.

The Dodgers will have to decide who they'll attempt to keep next season. Utley, Kendrick and Rollins will all be free agents.

 

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