It always seemed to be a foregone conclusion that Clayton Kershaw would return to the Los Angeles Dodgers if the three-time Cy Young winner opted to play a 17th season in MLB.
That now appears to be the case. Multiple media reports on Tuesday indicated that Kershaw has agreed on a contract to return to the Dodgers. Joel Sherman of the NY Post confirms that Kershaw, 35, will undergo a physical on Thursday to make it official.
Kershaw underwent offseason shoulder surgery. So, there is no guarantee that he’ll pass said physical. The future Hall of Famer said back in November that he’s “hopeful to return to play at some point in the summer.”
Los Angeles has to wait until Thursday to make this deal official. This will enable the team to put Kershaw on the 60-day injured list without him taking up a spot on its 40-man roster.
What re-signing Clayton Kershaw means for the Los Angeles Dodgers
At this point, getting anything from Kershaw in the second half of the season would be seen as an added bonus for the Dodgers.
They added Japanese sensation Yoshinobu Yamamoto on a record-breaking contract earlier in the offseason. Los Angeles also acquired stud starter Tyler Glasnow in a blockbuster trade with the Tampa Bay Rays while just recently signing James Paxton.
The rotation was a major key for Los Angeles after it fell to the division rival Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Playoffs a season ago.
Despite recent injury issues (68 combined starts over the past three seasons), Kershaw is still a dominant figure when he’s on the bump. Last season saw him strikeout 9.4 batters per nine innings. A return to Los Angeles also always seemed to be in the cards.
“We are very respectful of Clayton and Ellen’s decision and giving them the time and space to make the best decision for their family. But selfishly, we hope it’s to continue and finish his career in Dodger blue.”