A complex offseason for the Dodgers took an interesting turn this week. The Dodgers did not extend a qualifying offer to Clayton Kershaw. Team President Andrew Friedman stated that it was out of respect to Kershaw. Had the Dodgers extended a one-year qualifying offer, Kershaw would have had 10 days to accept or decline.
Friedman: "I think just with our respect for him and for what he's done for this organization, that wasn't something that we wanted to do and put him on that kind of clock when he wasn't ready for it."
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) November 10, 2021
ESPN’s Buster Olney and Karl Ravech had two very different takes on the Dodgers decision in regards to Kershaw.
Olney’s opinion aligned with Friedman’s quote. The Dodgers did not want to pressure a franchise superstar with an already murky future.
“I think that’s just purely respect from the Dodgers for Clayton Kershaw, a legacy player. I think everybody assumed that eventually, that Kershaw and the Dodgers will work it out.”
Kershaw battled arm injuries throughout 2021 and was not healthy enough to make the 2021 post season roster. He made just four starts in the second half of the season.
Ravech’s take on the Dodgers not extending a qualifying offer to Kershaw was a lot less warm and fuzzy.
“To me, I’m reading into what this says about their feelings about his real ability, and his health. There’s some reality here with what they think he’s capable of. I’m suspect of what’s left in his tank. I love the guy, but there’s some of that for the Dodgers.”
Concerns over the lefty’s long term health are legitimate. Elbow issues don’t just evaporate.
It also wouldn’t feel right to not give him an opportunity to continue his career with the Dodgers.