Dodgers Free Agent Clayton Kershaw ‘Excited’ To Return Pain-Free In 2024

Clayton Kershaw is a Los Angeles Dodgers free agent for the third year in a row, but unlike the previous two instances, he is not going to be available to pitch at the start of the ensuing season.

When Kershaw was a free agent in 2021, he benefitted from the MLB lockout delaying Opening Day of the 2022 season, which allowed for more time to recover from a left elbow/forearm injury.

But now Kershaw is sidelined for the foreseeable future due to left shoulder surgery. Despite facing a prolonged recovery process, the 35-year-old expressed a desire to get back on the mound during the 2024 season.

In his first public comments since the shoulder surgery, Kershaw reiterated to David Vassegh on “Dodger Talk” the plan remains unchanged and he’s optimistic, via AM 570 L.A. Sports Radio:

“The competitor in me doesn’t want it to end the way it did. I want to win. I want to win another World Series. I’m excited to get back after this surgery, to throw a ball and have it not hurt. I’m excited for that.”

Kershaw’s shoulder surgery, performed by Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache, was to repair the glenohumeral ligaments and capsule. The purpose of the glenohumeral ligaments is to provide strength and stability in the shoulder.

While performing at a higher level prior to his shoulder injury during the 2023 season, Kershaw finished 13-5 with a 2.46 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. He missed six weeks due to the unspecified left shoulder injury that impacted fastball velocity and command upon coming off the injured list during second half.

Kershaw ended the year with the worst start of his career in Game 1 of the National League Division Series, when he allowed six runs and recorded just one out before being removed in the first inning.

Will Dodgers re-sign Clayton Kershaw?

President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has been unabashed about the Dodgers being open to re-signing Kershaw if he wished to remain with the team.

It’s believed Kershaw once again will decide between remaining with the Dodgers or joining his hometown Texas Rangers.

Kershaw re-signed with the Dodgers on a one-year contract in each of the past two offseasons.

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