Clayton Kershaw has been with the Los Angeles Dodgers since he was drafted by the organization in 2006 and his MLB debut two years later.
As Kershaw is now a free agent for the first time in his career, other teams will attempt to sign the future Hall of Famer away from the only franchise he has known.
The Dodgers made a decision to not extend the qualifying offer to Kershaw because they didn’t want to put a timetable on his decision and out of respect for the 33-year-old.
But despite wanting to give Kershaw all the time he needs, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is optimistic and hopeful they can re-sign him, via Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times:
“Hopefully we’re able to roll up our sleeves with him and figure that out, and we’re very optimistic we’ll be able to figure that out,” Friedman said. “If he wants to come back, we definitely want him back.”
Because of what Kershaw means to the franchise, the Dodgers might end up taking a unique approach to his free agency.
L.A. wants to give him time he needed to not only recover from a left flexor injury but also to evaluate what is best on a personal level.
“From his standpoint, I think it’s all about what makes the most sense for him, Ellen and their family,” Friedman recently said.
“Taking off my president of baseball operations hat, there’s something nostalgic and great about Kersh playing with one team and being able to win another championship and having a parade. That being said, he’s put himself in this position to go out and do whatever makes the most sense for his family, and we will support that.”
Dodgers searching while Kershaw decides
As the Dodgers wait for Kershaw and Max Scherzer to make decisions in free agency, they are still checking in on other options as rebuilding the pitching staff is a focus this offseason.
The Dodgers already added Andrew Heaney on a one-year deal, and now they are looking at another southpaw as they have reportedly shown interest in Steven Matz.
The 30-year-old is coming off a quality season in which he went 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 29 starts for the Toronto Blue Jays. Matz has made at least 29 starts in each of the past three full seasons; he was 0-5 with a 9.68 ERA in nine games (six starts) last year.
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