The Return of the King: Dodgers to re-sign Clayton Kershaw

Even with the Texas Rangers winning the 2023 World Series and some question marks swirling there, there wasn’t much doubt this was going to happen.

The contract also reportedly includes a player option for 2025.

Clayton Kershaw is set to return for his 17th MLB season — all with the Dodgers. He’s reportedly going to take a physical on Thursday, which is the same day that pitchers and catchers report, and the first day teams can place players on the 60-day injured list. Funny how that works. Nick Frasso, Tony Gonsolin and/or Dustin May will go on the list, and Kershaw will soon follow.

Kershaw, 36 next month, is coming off a 1-year, $20 million deal last winter and was shoving before his shoulder decided to take the rest of the season off (even if Kershaw didn’t). He had a 2.55 ERA, 3.51 FIP and a 21.4 K-BB% through June 27 (his last game before hitting the injured list. When he came back, the ERA (2.23) was nice, but everything else wasn’t: 5.40 FIP, 11.1 K-BB%, 4.5 IP/GS and an average fastball velocity of 90.2 MPH in August and just 88.6 in September. That helped lead to the disastrous Game 1 start against the Diamondbacks in the NLDS. You just knew that wasn’t going to be the final chapter of Kershaw’s legacy.

Despite that major issue, the overall profile was still solid:

He had shoulder surgery on Nov. 3, so it wouldn’t be at all surprising to not see him on back in the majors until after the All-Star break, but maybe not until August or even September. That might actually benefit him in terms of having him fresh for the postseason (also, the potential 6-man rotation), provided he’s healthy, though that’s a big stipulation as there’s no guarantee he’s going to even be healthy enough to pitch this season.


There was no other way this could go. If Kershaw didn’t leave the Dodgers after the Rangers won the World Series, he’ll be a Dodger until the day he hangs up his cleats — as it should be.

About Dustin Nosler

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Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.