Clayton Kershaw: Dodgers Providing Player Option In Contract ‘Was Awesome’

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw agreed to a new contract that keeps him with the team through the 2024 season, and it also includes an player option for next year.

Entering his 17th season, Kershaw has spent his entire career with the Dodgers. His offseason plan was the same as in recent years, allowing the future Hall of Famer to decide which avenue was best, whether that be retiring, staying with the Dodgers, or joining his hometown Texas Rangers.

Kershaw’s new contract in 2024 can reportedly max out at around $12 million, which is dependent on how many incentives are reached. Given that the Dodgers have loaded their roster with frontend talent, pressure was taken off what is expected of Kershaw.

Kershaw discussed why the player option was beneficial as it eases the burden of having to go through the same process next season, despite it not being the most important thing to him, per SportsNet LA:

“I don’t know if it was. I just think Andrew (Friedman) letting me have optionality was awesome. Like I said, Andrew was great about the whole thing, and I think there’s good things on both sides. If everything works out, it should be good for both sides. And so it was great. And anytime you can have optionality, it’s not a bad thing.”

Kershaw’s production in 2023 was stellar, however, a lot hinged on his availability which was affected by his shoulder injury. In many cases, Kershaw would have been totally shut down, but the Dodgers ran out of pitching down the stretch and needed him.

In the playoffs, Kershaw endured a blow-up outing, which cost the Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Division Series. Much of that may have been due to the shoulder injury, and the southpaw did not want to end his career that way.

Kershaw isn’t expected to pitch until somewhere around mid-season, which is a main factor in what his contract will scale up to in terms of complete value.

What is Clayton Kershaw likely to bring in 2024?

With his return coming in late July or early August if it happens, Kershaw will start the season on the 60-day injured list. The 36-year-old has had a solid recovery thus far, recently picking up a baseball to begin a throwing program.

Kershaw will have an opportunity to make around 10 to 13 starts in 2024, with his in-season performance potentially suggesting what he can contribute in a possible playoff run.

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