Before the news that Justin Verlander and Trea Turner both were signing somewhere other than Los Angeles, Monday morning started on a high note when the Dodgers finally officially announced that future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw is coming back in 2023. Kershaw’s deal with L.A. is for one year and $20 million.
That’s about half the average annual value of the contracts signed the last few days by Verlander and Jacob deGrom, which led Kershaw to kid on SportsNetLA’s Access Dodgers that he might have a big of buyer’s remorse.
“I know, I should have held out longer, I think,” Kershaw joked. “I should’ve told Andrew I wanted to wait a little bit, see what these big dogs do. But, that’s just what we decided. Ellen and I, we just decided, you know what, like, we don’t know what the next year’s going to hold. We don’t want to be locked down to anything. And, if we still love it, we’ll come back.
“And I love that process, I’m at peace with it as far as, I love picking our team first. I love, hey let’s go back, let’s pick a team, and then if they want us, we’ll figure it out. And so, I just love doing it that way. And the Dodgers have been great about doing it that way with us, also. So, it just kind of works out for both of us. And I’m at peace with it and I think my whole family is, too.”
When the Dodgers declined to make a qualifying offer to Kershaw for the second straight offseason, it became entirely clear that they treat contract discussions with the future Hall of Famer much differently than they might with other players. Kershaw is family, not a business decision.
Of course, it also helps that Kershaw has, for the second straight offseason, come back for less than market value. He’s committed to the Dodgers, and they’re committed to him. Like he said, “it just kind of works out for both of us.”
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