At the age of 34, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw still has plenty left in the tank to deliver, especially coming off of his ninth All-Star selection of his career. Kershaw appeared in 22 games pitching to a 2.28 ERA with a 12-3 record. He also missed several weeks with back and hip issues over the course of the season.
Still, despite the numbers, Kershaw has contemplated retirement at times and while he’s made it clear that he more than likely will be pitching in 2023, it still remains a mystery whether he will be returning to the Dodgers. Andrew Friedman has expressed interest in having Kershaw return but also respects the time needed to make such a decision.
Justin Verlander: 5.63 ERA in World Series
Clayton Kershaw: 4.46 ERA in World Series
Max Scherzer: 3.86 ERA in World Series
The 3 best pitchers of their generation. First ballot Hall of Famers. Baseball gonna baseball.
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) November 4, 2022
On the other hand, if Kershaw were to choose to play at least another season, Kershaw would likely not sign a multi-year contract. Seemingly, the left-hander is open to playing on one-year contracts to make it less of a commitment each year out. Something that’s pretty ideal for the Dodgers and the front office.
So the commitment wouldn’t be an issue for LA, but the next question beyond where will Clayton be pitching in 2023 is how much will he be paid? MLB insider Jon Heyman took to task assembling a top-30 free agents list which happened to include guesses on what players could be seeking this winter. Here’s what he had to say about Kershaw, who came in at number 12 on the top-30 list.
Clayton Kershaw: Is Dodgers legacy too strong for all-time great to leave? Teams: Dodgers, Rangers. Expert: $18M, 1 year.
Bringing Kershaw back would bring the edge in the pitching unit the Dodgers can utilize all season long. Despite the disappointment during the postseason, Kershaw still proved he was one of the best pitchers in the game.
The starting rotation is set to take the biggest hit out of any spot on the roster this offseason with several arms heading to the open market. A return of the future Hall of Famer will help solidify the rotation and add to the depth that this club desperately needs. And at $18M plus incentives, it would be a steal for Los Angeles.
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