Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Leaning Toward Playing In 2023 Instead Of Retiring

The Los Angeles Dodgers face decisions on 10 soon-to-be free agents this offseason, including Clayton Kershaw, who missed some time because of back trouble but otherwise enjoyed a stellar 2022 campaign.

The 34-year-old showed no signs of slowing down as he went 12-3 with a 2.28 ERA, 2.57 FIP and 0.94 WHIP in 126.1 innings (22 starts).

Last month, Kershaw revealed he is leaning toward returning for his 16th season in 2023. The left-hander reiterated that stance after the Dodgers were eliminated by the San Diego Padres in the National League Division Series.

“Yeah, I think so. No buts. I think so. We’ll see what happens,” Kershaw said after the Game 4 loss. “Going home and being a full-time dad changes your perspective on things, but as of right now, I would say I’ll play again.”

Unlike last year when he had to miss the entire 2021 postseason due to left forearm discomfort, Kershaw is entering the offseason healthy, albeit with some uncertainty over his free agency. “No, I’m not really thinking about all that,” he said.

“I don’t think any of us expected to lose tonight. I don’t think any of us expected to be going home tomorrow. I was preparing to being ready to go for the game tomorrow and the next series after that.

“It’s a weird feeling. It’s no fun no matter when you lose. But at the same time, I think it’s what I said at the beginning of the year, it’s better to be in it than to not be a part of it at all. I’ll always take the opportunity.”

Kershaw contemplated retirement last offseason before ultimately re-signing with the Dodgers on a one-year contract after determining he was healthy enough to continue forward and amid interest from his hometown Texas Rangers.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner will likely find himself in a similar situation this winter as he evaluates his options.

Clayton Kershaw: Padres outplayed Dodgers in NLDS

Kershaw gave credit to the Padres for playing well.

“It’s always disappointing to lose in the postseason,” Kershaw said. “That’s what makes winning so great and losing so bad. Part of being in the postseason is it’s just abrupt.

“It just ends when you don’t expect it to. You’ve got to give a lot of credit to the Padres. They played really well, had great at-bats the whole series, made big pitches when they had to, and they played better than us. It’s hard to admit sometimes, but that’s the honest truth of it. They just beat us.”

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