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Dodgers: Andrew Friedman Hopes to Never See an LA Rotation without Clayton Kershaw

The Dodgers are in a foreign spot. For the first time since before June 20, 2006, Clayton Kershaw is officially not part of the organization. The 2014 NL MVP is a free agent and by all accounts putting serious consideration into his next move. The 33-year-old has a young family that’s getting to a point where uprooting and living in Los Angeles for six-plus months a year is getting more difficult.

In free agency, the assumption is that he’ll return to the Dodgers, retire, or he could possibly sign a deal with his hometown Texas Rangers. Former LA third base coach and current Rangers’ manager Chris Woodward said last week that the two sides had chatted about a potential move to Texas. Woodward also mentioned the idea that Kershaw is at a point where he would probably love to “be able to drop the kids off at school and pitch later that night.”

In a Wednesday interview on MLB Network, Dodgers president of baseball ops Andrew Friedman was asked about the ace left-hander and whether he could ever envision a world where Clayton Kershaw is not in the LA rotation. As always, he chose his words carefully.

I mean selfishly no. From my standpoint, as long as I’m doing this, as long as he’s doing it, I hope that we’re aligned in trying to win the last game of the season. That being said, just the level of respect and appreciation for him and his family, if he gets to a point whenever that something else makes sense, professionally I’ll be bummed but personally, I will obviously get it.

Dodgers: Reacting to Justin Turner Talking Clayton Kershaw’s Free Agency

The Dodgers will let Kershaw take his time to decide his next move. And, the longer he’s out as a free agent, well it doesn’t necessarily mean that the door to a return to Dodger Stadium closes. Moreover, the hurler has also said he wants to take time to recover from the forearm injury that ended his season in September before really beginning to make any decisions.

A world where Clayton Kershaw is not wearing Dodger blue is a tough one to imagine. Let’s hope we never see it.

NEXT: Andrew Friedman Will be ‘Aggressive’ in Trying to Re-Sign Corey Seager

9 Comments

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  1. He is an aging injury-prone pitcher who, as hard as it is to say or admit by some, is more a detriment because of the previous mentioned than a benefit that will prove his cost as legit, if Friedman keeps making it appear he’ll do whatever to resign him for the sake of Kersahws’ legacy.

    The money should be based on the likelihood of him making 15-20 starts or 80-100 innings (5 innings per start) at best, and any more is incentive-based. He might not even be ready to start the season so that in itself is behind the eight-ball beginning.

    • “Friedman keeps making it appear he’ll do whatever to resign him”

      To us fans, media, etc.

      A successful FO guy can’t afford to be ‘honest’. EVERYTHING said the press is calculated.

    • The fewest starts Clayton has made (other than 2020) is 21 since his rookie campaign. So, that being said, he should get a contract with that level in mind. That was last year. Now as far as we know, there is little if any visible damage in Clayton’s forearm. Platelet injections can heal over time. So I think (and this is just my opinion) that he should not even pick up a baseball until February. Then while the other pitchers are getting ready for April 1, he is getting ready for when he feels like he can cut it loose. In my mind, that wouldn’t be until at least April 1. Then he has to build up to 70 pitches. Could be a scary time for Clayton. Too early, and he would have to shut down again. So Friedman should come up with a way to keep Clayton on payroll till after ’22 with maybe a deferral. And then have an option kick in at a certain point of innings or appearances. Again, just my opinion, but Clayton should retire a Dodger. Hopefully in 3 to 5 years.

  2. Kershaw is injury prone and past his prime. What was his ERA and how many wins did he have extra above the losses. I get sentiment, come on he has got to go. Let him go to Texas. Sometimes sentimentality can bite you. He had his good years now bow out gracefully Kershaw and move on

  3. He’s going home to Texas. We should instead focus on resigning Scherzer and signing Robbie Ray.

    • Scherzer has signed with the Mets and Ray signed with the Mariners. We should now go after Marcus Stroman and Carlos Rodon.

  4. Innings pitched – 2021 — 121; 2020 58 [covid year]; 2019 178; 2018 161; 2017 175; 2016 149

    Projection for 2022? 100 innings? 3.50 ERA? Best case if not injured and fully recovered? 150 innings, 3.00 ERA? Worst case — he does not recover, maybe needs TJ surgery? Intangibles? Is he teaching any pitches to anyone? Does he add a win or two over the season even if he is not pitching well? [Maybe not] He seems worth having at $20 million + incentives, given the relationship and history with the team.

  5. If Freidman’s sincere he’d tell Kersh and us what he’s worth or stop fooling Kersh and the fans.

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