Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: MLB Experts Weigh-In on Decision to Not Extend Offer to Clayton Kershaw

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. 

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.

NEXT: Corey Seager Declines Qualifying Offer, What it Means for LA

Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.


  1. Friedman is an extremely shrewd GM and at the same time; he has become what I would call “a Dodger at heart”. He has delved into areas that the Steinbrenners and others have missed. While other GMs are dollars and cents, he is TEAM, FANS, and dollars and cents. And that comes in here with Clayton.My guess is only one or two other GMs would have NOT attached a QO.

    1. Dodger Prince, the decision as to where he ends up pitching is up to CK and his family, nobody else. He thus may want to remain here if Dodgers can work out a reasonable deal. So we can’t say with any moral certainty that he will end up elsewhere.

      1. Paul, he needs to be closer to home. Again, I appreciate everything that he has done for us, but I really think that it is time to move on from him. Verlander did really well during his showcase.

        1. Who said he needs to be closer to home? Kersh will be back if he wants to be on a winning team and org he loves.

  2. The real issue for CK and any team considering signing him is whether he is healthy. My understanding is that pushing this decision out past the Dec 1 CBA expiration date means that no team is likely to sign him until a new CBA is reached?? If so, that gives Kershaw and the Dodgers more time to learn more about his ability to pitch in 2022. A qualifying offer would have put $18.4 Mil risk solely on the Dodgers if he accepted it. Friedman is willing to provide a glide path to retirement but he’s smart enough to figure out if he’s healthy first.

  3. When they say “it’s not the money it’s the principle” 6 to 3 says it’s the money. Friedman said warm stuff but the truth is he doesn’t want to pay Clayton 18.4M. If it was offered I suspect Clayton would have taken it.

    1. I agree with Bum4ever. IMO, if another team offers him over 18 million per year, with his injury problems, they would really be rolling the dice. Any time a pitcher has thrown that many career innings, their arm is suspect, especially in Kershaw’s case landing on the DL several times over the past few years. BTW: I believe Scherzer’s arm is a little suspect as well… too many miles for a huge contract, IMO.

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