Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Not Extending Qualifying Offers to Clayton Kershaw or JD Martinez

Today marks the official start of the offseason, and the first order of business regards the Dodgers handing out the qualifying offer to eligible players.

The qualifying offer (QO) sits at $20.35MM this year. A player can only receive a QO once in their career, and whoever signs that player forfeits a relatively high draft pick in the upcoming draft.

The team announced earlier today that they would not extend the QO to Clayton Kershaw or J.D. Martinez.

This decision does not come as a surprise to anyone for several different reasons.

Clayton Kershaw

Over the past several seasons, the Dodgers have signed organization icon Clayton Kershaw to several one-year deals. They do this as a favor to Kershaw because he re-evaluates whether or not he wants to play every offseason.

As an additional favor to him, they do not extend him the qualifying offer. Not doing so allows him to take his time making his decision. It keeps the ball squarely in his court and allows him to sign wherever he sees fit or even retire.

A small, but meaningful gesture for one of the greatest to ever do it.

J.D. Martinez

Not extending J.D. Martinez the qualifying offer has everything to do with the team’s pursuit of Shohei Ohtani. They need to keep the designated spot open in case they land their white whale.

Where the qualifying offer stands this year is probably higher than what Martinez would receive in free agency – which would incentivize him to accept the offer.

Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

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Kevin Skinner

Graduated from Creighton University with a degree in Biology and Philosophy. Despite growing up in San Diego, loves all thing Los Angeles sports


  1. I just don’t think the money Ohtani will command anywhere near justifies his employment as a DH and that is what he will be throughout 2024. And there is no guarantee he will ever be able to pitch effectively again after his surgery. I would prefer re-signing Martinez, who fits the team well and is an extremely likable player for far less money. Better the Dodgers save their money trying to get Ohtani and spend it on at least one or two top (and DURABLE) starting pitchers. And also disappointed they didn’t keep El Mariachi.

    1. I agree. There’s no guarantee that Shohei will be effective after his surgery. Who really knows? But I guess the risk is worth it. Also, how do you evalualte a post surgery Shohei as a ’24 DH against an aging JD? You would have to sign JD a multi-year contract and hope he stays productive at his age.

    2. No way, Ohtani is a once in a 100 year phenomenon. He needs to become a Dodger.

    3. I totally agree Richard. I have been saying much the same thing. I don’t see Ohtani as the holy grail. He’s going to be way over priced. Yes, resign Martinez and spend on a good starting rotation. There is no guarantee that Buehler will be what he was either. Definitely need a couple more reliable starting pitchers.

  2. Why can’t we keep JD and get Ohtani too? I don’t think we should be pushing a good fit like JD out in hopes we get Ohtani.. JD was great last season and can’t we just squeeze Ohtani in somewhere (?) if we do get him?

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