Clayton Kershaw reportedly re-signs with the Dodgers on 1-year deal

After months of painful (for me, at least) speculation as to whether club legend Clayton Kershaw would return to the Dodgers, go closer to home with the Rangers, or even retire, thankfully it was recently reported that he would be re-signing with the Dodgers on a 1-year contract.

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Update

It’s for $17 million plus bonuses.

Seems like a discount.

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Most importantly he says that he’s healthy, or at least didn’t have surgery.

Really, I’m glad he’s back with the Dodgers and that his last time on the field wouldn’t be walking off injured to conclude his season.

Given that the Dodgers rotation prior to this was Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, Andrew Heaney, Tony Gonsolin, and … well, I dunno, needless to say the return of Kershaw is as welcome a one from a fan sentimentiality perspective as it is a baseball one.

While a lot of attention has been paid to his injury history, and the perception of him seems to have taken a downturn, it’s important to remember that while healthy he’s still a great pitcher. Getting old from being the greatest pitcher of your generation is still, as it turns out, pretty good.

Yeah, basically.

Last year he posted a 3.55 ERA in 121.2 innings, which was his highest since his debut year. But he also posted his lowest FIP since 2018 (3.00), backed by the 4th-highest K% of his career (29.5%) and the 4th-lowest BB% of his career (4.3%). Basically the ERA is the result of having the highest BABIP against (.289) in his career since his debut year, and his batted ball metrics don’t indicate he deserved that fate. When healthy, Kershaw has shown to still be one of the game’s upper-tier pitchers.

Though as mentioned earlier, the reason he’s only getting a short-term deal is because of his extensive injury history, including chronic back issues and missing the end of last season due to recurrent forearm problems that usually indicate elbow problems to come. So his health and performance will be something to pay attention to early, as it could indicate exactly what the Dodgers will get in 2022.

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Of course, it’s almost impossible to go wrong with a one-year deal, and if it were any other team but the Dodgers I doubt they get him for the price considering his upside. If this is a retirement tour for him, I just hope he gets the send-off he deserves. And ideally, another World Series to boot.

About Chad Moriyama

"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times