It is difficult to imagine the Los Angeles Dodgers without Clayton Kershaw (35‧ LA Dodgers). Conversely, it’s hard to imagine Kershaw not wearing a LA Dodgers uniform.
The bond between the two was so strong. Kershaw, who was drafted by the Dodgers in the first round (7th overall pick) in the 2006 draft, made his major league debut in 2008 and dedicated his career to the Dodgers for 16 years until this year. Until the 16th (Korean time), he played a total of 409 games in the Dodgers uniform and won 203 victories. His ERA of 2.48 is close to the all-time number one.
Of course, Kershaw is not as good as he was in his prime. Kershaw threw 200 innings in his prime and led the team rotation like an iron man. He won three Cy Young Awards and was named MVP in 2014. Kershaw has no regular innings after 2020. His frequent injuries were the cause. His speed was also lower than before. No one wants 200 innings from Kershaw anymore. His biggest wish is to manage moderately and run until the postseason.
However, a surprising rebound is coming this year. Kershaw is 6-2 with a 2.36 ERA in 49⅔ innings in 8 games this season. His velocity has dropped, but his pitching quality and class are proving to be alive and well. At the beginning of the season, when the Dodgers struggled with a 50% win rate, Kershaw was the player who served as a breakwater for the Dodgers to survive. Fans’ love and colleagues’ respect are absolute. He is not listening to the sound of a living legend for nothing.
At this point, attention is drawn to Kershaw’s next. Kershaw signed two contract extensions before becoming a free agent. It is true that the Dodgers also treated him generously, but Kershaw would have rejected this offer and entered the free agent market if he had not been very attached to the Dodgers. Kershaw’s ‘royalty’ remains the same. He is not greedy for money.
Kershaw qualified as a free agent ahead of the 2022 season, but signed a one-year contract with the Dodgers for $17 million. It was a lower number than the amount of the league qualifying offer. However, Kershaw chose to stay with the Dodgers and continue his active career after much consideration. Despite not bad results last year, Kershaw’s choice was the Dodgers again. He signed a one-year contract for $20 million this year.
For this reason, most predict that Kershaw will continue his relationship with the Dodgers by signing a one-year contract. The Dodgers are also not as efficient as they are on a one-year contract, so the risk is not high. John Heyman of the ‘New York Post’ said, ‘Kershaw is loyal to the Dodgers year after year. That’s why he emphasized, ‘The Dodgers legend has no intention of leaving at all’, saying, ‘A more great player.
However, if he performs well this year, the story may change in the free agent market. Heyman points out that “Kershaw is the same age as deGrom and has done more, but he’s just over 10% of deGrom’s contract.”안전놀이터
Born in 1988, Kershaw and his brother de Grom signed a five-year, $185 million guaranteed contract with Texas ahead of this season despite the risk of injury. Considering Kershaw and deGrom’s recent injury history, it certainly symbolizes the financial benefits of entering the free agency market and signing multi-year contracts.
It’s unclear if Kershaw, following deGrom’s example, will be on the free agency market. He still has a strong attachment to the Dodgers, and he may choose to continue signing a one-year contract with the Dodgers. But if Kershaw decides to enter the free agency market, the valuation of this player could be a big deal in the major leagues. It is noteworthy what the performance will be like for the rest of this season and whether Kershaw will make a bold decision.