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Dodgers Hot Stove: Predicting Clayton Kershaw’s Next Contract

We still have a few weeks of MLB lockout to endure before the fun stuff starts happening again, so for now we continue to prognosticate, pontificate, and also see what the experts are saying about players for when free agency resumes. On that note, most industry insiders who’ve spoken about long-time Dodgers ace, Clayton Kershaw, feel the future hall of famer will almost definitely be back in blue for 2022.

Earlier this week, MLB insider for the Athletic and former GM, Jim Bowden, dropped his thoughts on Kershaw and what his next contract may look like. Importantly, he too feels that the left-hander returns to LA for his 15th season. However, it will be for much less than he’s earned in the past.

He’s not going to command the $31 million annual salary he received the past three years. But how much of a pay cut is he willing to take? … I’m guessing his next contract will be a one-year deal with the Dodgers that’s loaded with incentives based on innings pitched and games started.

WATCH: Dodgers Insider Makes BOLD Prediction on Clayton Kershaw’s Future, LA’s Possible Rotation for 2022!

The ace is coming off of a 3-year, $93 million extension signed after the 2018 season. That year he posted another solid campaign but one that once again saw him miss several starts due to injury. As Bowden mentions, Kershaw hasn’t made 30 starts or surpassed 180 innings since 2015, which is a lot of bullets ago.

We discussed the incentive idea for Kersh earlier this offseason. For someone of his stature and place in the game, it feels almost like a slap in the face. But, as costs go up for the Dodgers again in 2022, payroll will surely become an issue for Andrew Friedman and company. He’ll be 34 by opening day and coming off the first arm injury of his career. LA absolutely needs help in the starting rotation next season. Can Clayton Kershaw still offer enough and add enough with so much stacked against him?

NEXT: Mookie Betts Spotted Working Out with Former Boston Red Sox Teammates

Clint Pasillas

Clint Pasillas has been writing, blogging, and podcasting about the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Bobby Miller, and any Dodgers of the future. Under Clint, Dodgers Nation has grown into one of the most read baseball sites in the world with millions of unique visitors per month. He's a golf enthusiast, an amateur wood worker, and a friend.


  1. Even a two-year deal that’s incentive laden, just make sure he finishes as a Dodger!

  2. If Kershaw cannot understand the reasoning behind an incentive-laden contact based on his most recent 3 years and his injury history, especially the more recent ones, then he’ll need to move on.

  3. yes whatever it takes within reason to get CK back on the team. Hopefully he’ll sign an incentive-laden contract. Last year’s experience going out TWICE was not good.

  4. I don’t understand all this sentimental “must remain a Dodger for life” talk. We want to win, not get booted out of the playoffs again and again. Kershaw has never been clutch in the post season. He had a decent 2020 post season, but far from dominant, as he is during the regular season. I hope he does finish as a Ranger, tired of the disappointment that accompanies him year after year when it counts.

  5. I think the Dodgers will eventually, maybe on the brink of ST, re-sign Kershaw. I do hope it will be an incentive laden contract too. Weird to say but, Kershaw needs to earn his next contract.

    With that said, I really hope he finishes his career in Dodger Blue.

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