Dodgers Rumors: Clayton Kershaw’s New Contract Includes Player Option

While the Los Angeles Dodgers dominated the offseason by signing Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Teoscar Hernández, in addition to trading for Tyler Glasnow, the front office continued to maintain their interest in re-signing Clayton Kershaw.

That remained the case even after Kershaw revealed he underwent surgery to repair the glenohumeral ligaments and capsule in his left shoulder. Kershaw faces a long rehab process and is not expected to pitch until the second half of the 2024 season.

Days after general manager Brandon Gomes and manager Dave Roberts reiterated the Dodgers hoped for Kershaw to return, he reportedly agreed to a contract for his 17th season with the team.

According to Andy McCullough of The Athletic, Kershaw’s new contract with the Dodgers also includes a player option for the 2025 season:

His new contract with the Dodgers includes a player option for 2025, a person briefed on the negotiations said.

Kershaw was a free agent for a third consecutive offseason and has re-signed with the Dodgers in each instance. The first two were on respective one-year contracts.

Kershaw’s contract including a player option offers him some flexibility and insurance in the event he hits a snag in getting back on the mound this year. It also would allow for Kershaw to be part of the same starting rotation as Shohei Ohtani next year.

Although the 35-year-old dealt with a left shoulder injury for roughly half of last season, he was still effective when healthy and went 13-5 with a 2.46 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 24 starts.

Clayton Kershaw’s timeline

The earliest Kershaw figures to sign his contract with the Dodgers is Thursday, when they can begin putting players on the 60-day injured list.

That is useful both to sign Kershaw — which can be accomplished with Tony Gonsolin, Nick Frasso or Dustin May to make room on the 40-man roster — and in order to put the longtime ace on the 60-day IL as well given his projected return not coming until late in the season.

Dodgers pitchers and catchers have their first Spring Training workout at Camelback Ranch on Friday.

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