Stop me if you’ve heard this before: The Dodgers’ biggest question mark this offseason may revolve around Clayton Kershaw. Will he return for his 16th season with the Dodgers? Will he elect to go back home and play for the Texas Rangers, or any other team? Or will he elect to retire from the sport of baseball, altogether?
No one knows what Kershaw will do next season — he probably doesn’t even know what he’ll do yet. But someone pretty involved with the Dodgers organization tried to shed some light on Kershaw’s situation.
“I really hope there’s going to be a 16th (season),” former Dodger pitcher and current Dodger broadcaster Orel Hershiser said. “I think it’s a coin flip. I know that when I went through my free agency, no one knew what I was processing — not even my representative did I tell where I was gonna go. One time I knew I was going to the American League. I had National League offers but I kept the competition going and I knew I wanted to go to the American League to become a better post-baseball person. And then another free agency I was talking to my wife about what do we want to expose our kids to. So we ended up in New York and exposing them to the city and that kind of life. So it’s very interesting that, we’re going to try and predict what he and his family are going to decide? It’s almost impossible. But I think that are lots of heart strings being pulled at him to stay in Los Angeles.”
Hershiser knows a thing or two about MLB free agency. After playing with the Dodgers for the first 12 years of his career, Hershiser played with three teams over the next four years, before finishing his career back in Los Angeles for one final season. He understands that there are more factors than just baseball that will go into this decision for Clayton, his wife, Ellen, and their children.
The Dodgers will welcome Kershaw back with open arms next season if he decides to return, but they also know they need to give him the time and space to come to a decision. So until then, we’ll just have to wait and see.