Dodgers Team News

Clayton Kershaw Rumors: Belief Growing That Ace May Be Done with Dodgers

The winter of 2023-2024 will be an intriguing one for many reasons. The Dodgers have been linked to just about every top-tier player via trade or free agency — one of whom is possibly the greatest baseball player of all time, Shohei Ohtani — and they have something to prove after a second early playoff exit in a row.

All eyes will be on the Japanese sensation for the next couple of months as we wait to see where he will land. However, even though all eyes will be on Shohei, there are still a ton of storylines surrounding the Dodgers, including Future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw.

For the Dodgers, it’s another offseason of sitting and waiting on a decision from the ace. The game of will he retire, will he re-sign, or will he leave for Texas has become second hat for fans over the last few winters. This offseason has a major added wrinkle of surgery performed on the left-hander’s prized left shoulder with a possible return not expected until the middle of the 2024 season.

Surgery aside, a belief grew within the Dodger organization that 2023 was potentially lining up to be his last either way. This according to LA Times insider, Jack Harris.

And while Kershaw has ultimately stayed in LA on one-year contracts each of the past years, there was a growing sentiment among some within the Dodgers organization this year that 2023 would be the pitcher’s last season with the team.

(Per Jack Harris via LA Times)

If this is the last we’ve seen of Kershaw, he sure left a lasting memory in the worst way possible. The last time we would have seen him was in Game 1 of the 2023 NLDS against the Arizona Diamondbacks. If you forgot, Kershaw allowed six hits, six earned runs on 35 pitches, one walk, zero strikeouts, and left the game after recording just one out.

It would be the worst outing of his career, and I find it hard to believe he will go out like that.

In reality, none of us know until the lefty ace says so, and my gut tells me he will be back for the 2024 season with the Boys in Blue. It’ll be hard to see the three-time Cy Young winner in another jersey, and it won’t happen in our lifetimes.

More Dodgers Offseason

Photo Credit: Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic

Ricardo Sandoval

Born and Raised in the East side of Los Angeles. Ricardo is a staff writer at Dodgers Nation and on the LA Sports Report network of sites. He's also a lifelong Dodgers and Lakers fan. Ricardo is an alumnus of CSUN (Go Matadors).


  1. All the more reason Dodgers must go after and I mean seriously for some dependable starting pitching, via FA or through trades. And hopefully, should they do land Ohtani, Dodgers will have the means to address the starting rotation. And in my view a # 1 priority this off season. I’d rather see a couple top end starting pitching acquisitions before signing Ohtani.

    1. Totally agree Paul. Pitching is the big hole in the Dodgers team. We can get a couple of top of the rotation pitchers for less than what Ohtani will cost. Ohtani will not even pitch next year and there is no guarantee that he will return to being an ace pitcher in 2025 and beyond.

  2. The hope he has to pitch in 2024 is basically the same as Walker Beuhler’s hope he had to pitch in 2023, and most likely has the exact same outcome. This type of surgery that Kershaw needs is career threatening, most likely he attempts to come back in 2025, but as a doctor specializing in sports injuries, I have no delusion he will be of much use to anybody in 2024.

    1. True. CK may find out ahead of time that coming back i 2024 may be unrealistic, what with this shoulder surgery. Again, although Dodgers and fans alike want to see him in 2nd half of 2024 as he said, we cannot assume or even count on him being able to do so. As a Doctor, you are certainly correct in your assessment.

    1. He is hanging on because he only needs 64 strikeouts to get to 3000. He should be able to do that in three months time if comes back in late July, August and September. He would become one of only 5 left-handed pitchers to do that.

    2. I hope you’re joking. Inning for inning Kershaw was a top 5 pitcher in baseball in 2023. Sure, he doesn’t pitch more than 130 innings a year now but putting up a 2.48 era in those innings is still incredibly valuable.

  3. Why would Kershaw or any other pitcher want to be in an environment with Dave Roberts trying to make pitching decisions?

  4. I can’t see him leaving now. For as competitive as Kershaw is I just can’t see him allowing himself to have his worst outing of his career be his last as a Dodger. Plus, like another commenter said, I think he will want to get his 3,000 strikeout in a Dodger uniform. If he’s healthy, I have no doubt that he’ll be back in Dodger blue in 2024.

    1. If CK is ready in 2nd half, even if it’s August, that would be great, assuming he is signed by Dodgers, which shouldn’t be any issue, since Freidman Co. will welcome him back so wss.

  5. Tough call for the Dodgers GM. While apparently playing hurt, he had a limited season, but not really a bad one, more like pretty good, but not great. 8th in NL wins. How many pitchers had a better ERA? Not many. That said, he’s old, but not ancient in baseball terms and not expected to pitch before midseason. Will he be in fine tune by then even if he’s healthy?

    I kind of doubt he would sign it, but I could see a very incentive laden contract, like 5M base with 1M for every start over 8, or whatever, with a max of 20M.

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