Clayton Kershaw is STAYING with the Dodgers for 2023: Has signed a one-year, $20m deal

- Advertisement -

Clayton Kershaw only needed a few days to decide to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2023.

After the Dodgers racked up 111 MLB-leading wins during the regular season only to be ousted by the San Diego Padres in the NL Division Series, Kershaw returned to his off-season home outside of Dallas. He and his wife, Ellen, talked it over and the Dodgers won again.

Kershaw re-signed for a year for $20 million with the NL West champion. The deal includes a $5 million signing bonus due June 30, a $15 million salary and a hotel suite during road trips.

Clayton Kershaw has opted to stay with the LA Dodgers and signs a one-year $20 million contract

Clayton Kershaw has opted to stay with the LA Dodgers and signs a one-year $20 million contract

“We just felt like our time in LA wasn’t over,” he said via Zoom on Monday. “The way we ended things last year just feels like we’ve got another run in us, so I’m excited to get out there again.”

For the second year in a row, the Dodgers did not make a qualifying offer to the three-time Cy Young Award winner. Instead, they gave him extra time to think about his future, and he decided once again to stay with the only franchise he ever played for during his 15-year major league career.

“I think it was my fault it took so long to announce,” Kershaw said. “I was kind of putting off getting all the MRIs. I thought they’d seen this enough where they didn’t need all of those, but I think they still did.”

The left-hander will turn 35 in March. Last season he was on the injured list a few times.

Last winter, Kershaw didn’t pick up a baseball until January. This time, he started his throwing program on Monday.

Kershaw was part of the Dodgers team that won 111 games in the regular season in 2022

Kershaw was part of the Dodgers team that won 111 games in the regular season in 2022

Kershaw was part of the Dodgers team that won 111 games in the regular season in 2022

‘I feel fine. I feel really healthy,” he said. “I will be able to take my time and build up. It will be a normal low season.’

Kershaw was a free agent a year ago and was considering returning to the Dodgers, signing with the Texas Rangers to be closer to home or retiring. He went through the same process this time and spoke to Rangers GM Chris Young.

“I want to choose the team first and then figure out the contract. I don’t want to be told where to play,” Kershaw said. “That’s how I want to do it for the rest of my career and if there are still some dollars on the table, that’s fine with me.”

Texas last week signed pitcher Jacob DeGrom to a five-year, $185 million deal. Justin Verlander, whom the Dodgers were interested in, agreed to a two-year, $86.7 million deal with the New York Mets on Monday.

“Should I have held on?” Kershaw jokingly asked reporters before quickly adding that he and his wife are “so at peace with the way we do things.”

“For me, it’s always going to be a decision whether we feel good in LA or not,” said the father-of-four.

Kershaw was 12-3 last season with a 2.28 ERA in 22 starts. He struckout 137 batters and walked 23. He made his ninth All-Star team and the Midsummer Classic began for the first time in his career at Dodger Stadium.

Last April, he became the franchise’s all-time strikeout leader with 2,697. He reached 2,800 strikeouts in his final start of the regular season on October 5 against Colorado. Kershaw ranks 24th all-time with 2,807.

Kershaw said on a Zoom call Monday that “we just felt like our time in LA wasn’t over yet”

He has a career record of 197-87 with a 2.48 ERA. He won his only World Series title in 2020, as the Dodgers defeated Tampa Bay following the pandemic-shortened season.

Kershaw returns to a changed team.

All-Star shortstop Trea Turner agreed Monday to a $300 million, 11-year deal with Philadelphia. Third baseman Justin Turner and outfielder Cody Bellinger were both rejected by the Dodgers, though it’s possible one or both could re-sign.

“Hopefully we don’t have too much from another team, but who knows what will happen,” said Kershaw. “The talent is there. We have the pieces. It’s just a matter of being a better team.’

Kershaw has yet to decide if he will pitch in the World Baseball Classic in March.

“Obviously it would be a huge honor to be able to do that,” he said. “I’m still some way from that conversation.”