The Los Angeles Dodgers had 11 free agents the morning after the 2021 World Series concluded, and of that group, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager and Chris Taylor figured to be extended the $18.4 million qualifying offer for the 2022 season.
However, the Dodgers only wound up presenting the one-year contract to Seager and Taylor, both of whom predictably rejected it. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman later explained the team did not want to put Kershaw under any sort of deadline as he recovered from a left flexor tendon injury and mulled his future.
Kershaw now has been afforded extra time as he remains a free agent during the ongoing MLB lockout. Although players and team personnel are not permitted to have contact, that of course does not apply to teammates or former teammates.
As such, Kershaw said during an appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show” that he somewhat begrudgingly is having to receive updates from Dodgers union representative Walker Buehler:
“I just listen to Walker Buehler, unfortunately. Walker is our player rep, so he’s kind of in all the meetings and doing all the stuff. I’ve been that guy in the past; 2011, 2016 when they were going through the labor agreements, I was kind of the guy for the Dodgers. I’ve kind of passed the baton, so now I’m pretty removed, honestly, from the situation. I get updates but as far as the day-to-day, I am not involved this time at all.”
Kershaw’s comments of course were tongue-in-cheek, as he and Buehler have both raved about their friendship and time together as teammates. Even as some began to tout Buehler as the new Dodgers ace, he continued to deflect that honorary title to Kershaw.
Like Kershaw, Justin Turner has previously held the role of Dodgers union rep., and he noted each player can take a different approach to how much communicating they do.
“I think it’s kind of up and down, mix and match, depending on who they are,” Turner said, suggesting Buehler falls in the middle. “Some guys are really informative and some guys you’ve got to call them to get information.”
Kershaw supported Stafford at Super Bowl
Whether or not Kershaw’s career will remain in Los Angeles hasn’t yet been decided, but he was back from Dallas for Super Bowl LVI to support childhood friend Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams.
Kershaw was ecstatic to see Stafford lead the Rams to a comeback, and both players now share a link of having won a championship in their respective 13th seasons.
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