One of the biggest questions for the Los Angeles Dodgers to address heading into the offseason was long-time ace Clayton Kershaw and his contract situation. Though, Kershaw very much held the cards, at least initially.
Kershaw had the ability to opt out of the remaining two years and $65 million on his contract and test free agency for the first time in his career. It became apparent early on that he wanted to remain with the team and the Dodgers had no desire in letting him go.
Because of that, the two sides were able to come to a quick agreement on an extension for three years at $93 million, keeping Kershaw will remain with the organization through the 2021 season.
Kenley Jansen recently voiced his excitement over the Dodgers and Kershaw agreeing to a new deal, via SportsNet LA:
“That’s awesome, man. It’s great to have Kerch back. He’s the anchor of this team. Seeing him back here, it’s great for us. Knowing when you have a guy like that we always have a chance to win ball games. He’s going to help us tremendously. We’re looking forward to having Kerch back here. It can’t be better than that.”
Going back to just one year ago, Kershaw and Jansen were recognized as the best starter and reliever, respectively, that the sport had to offer. They are both coming off essentially the worst seasons of their careers though, so they will be looking to bounce back and return to elite form in 2019.
One reason for Kershaw’s struggles could be that he saw his velocity dip a significant amount, but he believes he can get that back up to what it was previously and prove the doubters wrong. With other great pitchers in the organization like Jansen, Walker Buehler and Hyun-Jin Ryu, a lot of the pressure should be taken off Kershaw’s shoulders over the course of the next three seasons.