Andrew Friedman: Keeping Clayton Kershaw Part Of Dodgers Organization A ‘Great Goal’
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

While Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers have their focus on ending the organization’s World Series drought, the 2018 offseason looms large for the franchise. Kershaw, who signed a seven-year, $215 million contract extension in 2014, can opt out after next season.

Should the left-handed ace elect to do so, he will leave a guaranteed $65 million on the table and be coming off his age-30 season. Prior to last year’s back injury, Kershaw opting out was generally considered a likelihood.

Although he may now have some reason for pause, healthy 2017 and 2018 campaigns would presumably be enough to push Kershaw what’s expected to be a loaded free-agency class.

Regardless of what the three-time Cy Young Award decides next year, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is hopeful to keep Kershaw part of the organization for the remainder of his playing career and beyond, per Joel Sherman of The New York Post:

“The way we approach it and think about it is we want Clayton Kershaw to be a Dodger for as long as he is still playing and then stay involved when he is done playing,” Friedman said. “We want to have him around as long as we possibly can. That is a great goal for the Los Angeles Dodgers.”

Kershaw is in his 11th season since being selected by the Dodgers No. 7 overall in the 2006 Draft. He made his MLB debut two years later, and has been a fixture in the starting rotation since 2009.

While Kershaw ran his string of consecutive All-Star Game selections to six, he did not place in the top three in voting for the 2016 National League Cy Young Award for the first time since 2011. His five-year stretch in doing so was an MLB record.