- ESPN baseball reporter. Covered the L.A. Rams for ESPN from 2016 to 2018 and the L.A. Angels for MLB.com from 2012 to 2016.
The Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw reached agreement on a one-year deal Thursday, bringing the future Hall of Fame left-hander back to Los Angeles for a 16th season, a source confirmed to ESPN. The Athletic first reported the agreement.
Kershaw’s deal is expected to be of similar value to the one-year, $17 million deal he signed shortly after the owners’ lockout concluded in March. The Dodgers declined to extend Kershaw the $19.65 million qualifying offer earlier on Thursday, just like they did early last offseason, largely because they didn’t want to pressure him into making a decision earlier than he might have wanted.
Kershaw, 34, continued to perform like one of the sport’s best pitchers when healthy last season, going 12-3 with a 2.28 ERA in 126 1/3 innings, striking out 137 batters and issuing only 23 walks while starting the All-Star Game from Dodger Stadium. But Kershaw also continued to battle health issues, serving two separate stints on the injured list with discomfort in his lower back.
A three-time Cy Young Award winner, Kershaw is widely expected to go year-to-year at this point in his career, but he had basically decided on returning for the 2023 season down the stretch. The Texas Rangers, the team he grew up rooting for, which resides near his offseason home and are now run by his friend, pitcher-turned-executive Chris Young, were seen as a potential threat.
But Kershaw, who deeply values the opportunity to compete for championships on a yearly basis, once again chose to return to the only major league team he has ever pitched for.
The Dodgers began the offseason looking to replenish their rotation but now have four starting pitchers locked in for next year, with Kershaw joining Julio Urias, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin. Tyler Anderson, who broke out as an All-Star last season, was extended the qualifying offer and has until Nov. 20 to accept or reject it.
The Dodgers declined their $16 million option on Justin Turner’s contract on Thursday but are hopeful that he – like Kershaw – will return in 2023.
Source: Read Full Article