Clayton Kershaw The Dodgers are about to agree to a one-year deal, According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Earlier today, the Dodgers decided not to release a qualifying bid for Kershaw, but it will be a moot point now anyway, as the 34-year-old is set to return to Los Angeles for the 16th season. Mike DeGovana adds That the deal would be “close” to the $17 million deal Kershaw signed last winter.
While his days of absolute dominance may be behind him, Kershaw turned in another elite season in 2022, throwing 126 1/3 innings from a 2.28 ERA. For the second straight season, injuries limited Kershaw to 22 starts, and he’s made two separate trips to IL this season with lower back problems. When in good health, it was very effective in spreading a 27.8% strike rate along with the usual pure walking rates. While his speedball has dropped dramatically since his inception, Kershaw has shown his incredible skill to be able to change his use and rely more on his passer to maintain his highly successful numbers as he gets older.
It’s hard to imagine Kershaw in any other outfit than a Dodger blue, and while there were often reports of him possibly returning to his hometown of Dallas and signing with the Rangers, it’s not really surprising to see him residing in Los Angeles. By doing so, he will come closer to achieving more milestones along his Hall of Fame career. His 12 wins on the field in 2022 brought him to 197 in his career, so he is sure to score a 200th win next season. While shooting victories are largely irrelevant when evaluating a player’s ability, they are a significant milestone and should be held a great deal of pride, and Kershaw would be the fourth active bowler to fall short of 200. Justin VerlanderAnd the Zack Greene And the Max Scherzer. It’s also 193 strokes shy of 3000. This mark is unlikely to be reached in 2023, given that Kershaw hasn’t hit 190 in a single season since posting 202 in 2017.
Milestones are just a bonus for a player who’s been a mainstay on top of some Dodger’s dominant tournaments for a decade or so. Recruited seventh overall from high school in 2006, Kershaw had made his Dodgers debut when he was 20 years old in 2008. Just a year later, Kershaw started an amazing streak of domination as he posted ten consecutive seasons with an era of 3 sub. In fact, his rookie year was the only year the ERA posted more than four, and there were only two more seasons where he was over three. Between 2011 and 2017 Kershaw was at his absolute best. During that time, he won three Cy Young Awards (and never finished outside the top five), one MVP, led the league in the ERA on five occasions, and published 300 strike campaigns.
Spin is set to be a focus area for the Dodgers this winter Tyler AndersonAnd the Andrew Heaney Kershaw headed to a free agency, and Anderson was the only one to get a qualifying offer. Kershaw will return alongside Walker Buelher, Julio Urias And the Tony Johnslin To form a very strong rotation core. Dustin MayAnd the Ryan Baby And Mitchell White are all in-house candidates to fill the rotation, but the Dodgers will likely seek another arm to strengthen the backend. That decision may actually be made for them, as there is at least a good chance Anderson will choose to accept the eligible offer and return to the Dodgers in a one-year, $19.65 million deal.
More is coming.