Dodgers Rumors: Clayton Kershaw Sought Personal Insurance Policy For 2023 World Baseball Classic

Clayton Kershaw was expected to represent the Los Angeles Dodgers on Team USA during the 2023 World Baseball Classic, but on Friday the three-time Cy Young Award winner announced he would not be participating in the event.

Kershaw said he was “super disappointed” over not being able to play and added it wasn’t related to any health issue. “We tried a lot of different things, all sides really tried to make it work,” Kershaw said. “Nothing is wrong with me. It just didn’t work out.”

The 34-year-old would not reveal the reason he isn’t participating in the WBC, calling it an unimportant detail. However, according to Ken Rosenthal and Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, the issue was related to an insurance policy Kershaw needed to participate:

But the three-time Cy Young winner struggled to secure an insurance claim for the event because of his injury history, according to league sources briefed on the situation but not authorized to speak publicly.

Kershaw is not the first player to withdraw from the tournament due to insurance issues as it has happened in previous seasons as well, most notably to Sonny Gray in 2017.

However, the tournament takes place every four years, which makes it unlikely Kershaw would be able to participate in a future season. Because of that and his desire to play, Kershaw tried to take out his own insurance policy for the event:

The World Baseball Classic has remained an unchecked box for Kershaw in an illustrious career. Even up until the final decision, Kershaw had been lobbying to pitch in the event — to the point that the 34-year-old even sought out taking his own personal policy for the event, the sources said.

Kershaw is also one of multiple Team USA pitchers to withdraw this season after New York Yankees left-hander Nestor Cortes opted out due to a hamstring issue, while Texas Rangers pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and San Francisco Giants ace Logan Webb were not on the roster despite their verbal commitments.

Team USA starting pitchers without Clayton Kershaw

Without Kershaw, Cortes, Webb and Eovaldi on the roster, Team USA’s rotation is headlined by St. Louis Cardinals’ longtime ace Adam Wainwright.

Their rotation options behind him include Kyle Freeland (Colorado Rockies), Merrill Kelly (Arizona Diamondbacks), Lance Lynn (Chicago White Sox), Miles Mikolas (Cardinals) and Brady Singer (Kansas City Royals).

It is a significant drop in talent for Team USA, which will now need to rely on its high-powered lineup to carry them through the WBC.

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