How Should Dodgers Handle a Prospective Clayton Kershaw Deal?

The MLB lockdown is still intact and has really deprived much of the baseball content. It looks like there has not been any movement, and it doesn’t seem like there will be anytime soon.

Dodger Stadium, however, still remains busy with the Holiday Tour.

Anyway, there are still a lot of unanswered questions for next season — not just for the Dodgers — but for the whole MLB. Teams still need to fill out their rosters and address their needs.

With so many big name free agents departing this winter for the Dodgers, there were many questions going into the offseason.

Some of those have already been answered as you know, but the one I’ve seen recently throughout forums on social media is Clayton Kershaw.

It seems there is a split fanbase, as we’ve known the biggest suitor for Kershaw appears to be his hometown Texas Rangers, who already have signed ex-Dodger Corey Seager.

The argument for letting Kershaw walk is his age and recent injury problems. From what I’ve seen on social media, several fans think it is the right time to let the future Hall Of Famer walk.

Kershaw will be 34 years old by the time the next season comes up. While he may not be the pitcher he was in his MVP and Cy Young campaigns, he still has the potential to be effective.

Currently, the Dodgers staring pitching situation isn’t the best. They have Walker Buehler, Tony Gonsolin, and Julio Urias, while they did sign Andrew Heaney as well. David Price provides depth as a swing man.

Last season, Kershaw posted a 3.55 ERA along with a WHIP of 1.019 alongside ten wins over 22 starts and 121-2/3 innings of work. His season was cut short due to injury and he did not make any postseason appearances.

While fans who think it is time to let Kershaw walk, some have solid points, stating it is hard to imagine the eight-time all star donning another uniform.

Much of the reason fans may not want to let Kershaw walk is the nostalgic reason, as Kershaw has been the long tenured Dodger and a franchise icon.

Several fans have said it feels like Kershaw is meant to be a Dodger for life.

If you were to ask me personally, I’d like to see Kershaw to be a Dodger for life. I believe he still has a few good years left in the tank and the Dodgers could use him. Kershaw is one of my favorite Dodgers of all time, and if he were to leave the Dodgers, I believe he deserves a proper send-off.

What do you guys think — is it time to let go of Kershaw or should the Dodgers bring him back?

30 thoughts on “How Should Dodgers Handle a Prospective Clayton Kershaw Deal?

  1. The Kershaw Dilemma – I’m torn between emotion and logic and I’d be OK either way it turns out.

    For me, the deciding factor would be whether AF could come up with another couple of starters via free agency, trade, or Bauer’s being reinstated (assuming the Dodgers would have him pitch and not just eat his salary or try to trade him).
    We need two more viable starters and a healthy CK is likely to be as good as many of the options. On the other hand, he probably won’t be healthy all year, if at all.

    Logic says signing Kershaw could be a mistake. Emotion says he should never pitch in another uniform. Maybe Andrew can’t make up his mind either and that’s why he’s dumping the decision in Clayton’s lap.

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  2. His projections at BR for next year are 136 IP, 11-7, 3.51 ERA, and a 1.096 WHIP. He was able to put up 2.4 WAR. with less than that this year. If those projections are even close he’s worth signing. I’m sure Texas would love to see him do that for them.

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    1. The real problem is money. There are more than a few pitchers available that could post the same numbers at one half (or less) the cost and probably be more durable and much younger. Players have no loyalty, it’s only about the money. Don’t think AF is dumb enough to overpay a broken down 34 year old pitcher (that’s kind of harsh ), especially after this lockout/strike. He’s probably hoping kersh goes to Texas, at a ridiculous price, thus no q offer. If he wants to come back he’ll accept a reasonable offer. I’ll be sad to see him go but I don’t think we’ll miss him on the field. Which brings up his injury, and will he even be able to play.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What would you consider an overpay?

        2.5 WAR is worth $20 million. If he reaches those predictions he’d get 2.5 WAR.

        I’d like to see him back. Rich Hill put up over 4 WAR in 110 innings in ‘16. He was older than Kershaw when he did it.

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  3. Think most fans would love to see him back, I’m just saying at a reasonable price. He’s just not worth 20 mill for 3 years. Although in his case I could live with it. Rich hill is a different kind of pitcher, who aged well and had blister problems rather than shoulder problems. All in all I guess I’d rather move on. His injury problems just keep occurring year after year. I think he’ll leave. After al, these years he doesn’t really live he. Just heads to Texas ghe day after. It will be heartbreaking to see him play out his carreer really bad team

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    1. If CK thinks Texas will be a bad team he absolutely won’t sign there. I just checked and their current estimated payroll is about 133 million. I think they could easily go to 200 million and not have a problem. They have money if they want to spend it and this would definitely be the time to do it.

      Kershaw – $20MM
      Kenley – $12MM
      Suzuki – $11MM
      Schwarber or Rizzo – $13MM
      Trade for Sonny Gray – $10MM

      That would get them to around $200MM payroll and give them a team good enough that Clayton would consider it.

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      1. I can’t see that lineup getting them very far, certainly not any where near the playoffs Jeff. They are a really bad team playing in a tough division. Kershaws decision it appears is stay in La or go to a bad team with few prospects. Almost every player would take the money , but perhaps not kersh.

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      2. You’re a tough negotiator. They have that new ballpark down there which will give them some added revenue so I’m going to add a little more.
        The Rangers’ farm system is considered pretty good by most pundits, although not in the top 6 or 8. So I’m going to take some more of my prospect capital and trade for Montas from the A’s, estimated 2022 salary $5MM.

        Starters: Kershaw, Montas, Sonny Gray, Jon Gray, Dane Dunning
        Closer: Kenley
        Heart of the lineup: Semien, Seager, Schwarber, Suzuki
        Other starters who played well in 2021: Kiner-Falefa (3.7 WAR), Nat Lowe (2.4 WAR), Adolis Garcia (3.8 WAR)

        In my opinion, that’s a team that could compete every night and would be enough for CK to decide to sign there if he really wanted to stay near home.

        But the bigger problem than where he would play is IF he’ll be able to play. And we won’t know that for a while.

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      3. There are some good teams in that Division. Yeah, that lineup is decent. Can they get ALL those guys? A way too early prediction, early November, had them at 61 wins. Do all those guys give them 30 wins?

        My guess is Kershaw stays here.

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      4. I would agree that he stays here, but I also think that the Rangers are far from finished with their off season and he may find it much harder to decide than he originally thought, espcially after the Rangers sign Kenley, Joc and Andre Ethier.

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      5. From worst to first huh? Well, it’s been done before. And Ethier could maybe possibly put them over the top….. but I don’t see it. If Kershaw goes to Texas, it will be to finish close to home, not close to a championship.

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      6. Everyone who knows him says that Clayton is at the top of the competitive spectrum. Just my opinion, but I really feel that he wouldn’t go to the Rangers just to play near home. He’ll only go there if he feels they have a chance to win something in the next couple of years (or however long he plans to play there).

        I don’t know what contracts they have coming off the books after 2022, but I suppose they could promise him they will spend more next off season as well. He just wants to win too much to play for a team that has no chance.

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      7. Man Jeff you are great eternal optimist. For years you thought the pads would ge a good team, even maybe playing above 500. Well that was silly wasn’t it. Now you think Texas could sign everyone left on the market and become a good team, even maybe playing above 500. Silly again!
        Someday I’m gonna regret these comments, but I just can’t resist.

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      8. Have at me, my friend. Nothing like a little spirited back and forth.

        If you recall, Bear and I went at it (all in good fun) about Friedman, and our band of Shlemmings turned out right about that one when he traded for Mookie.

        I don’t recall being on the Pads bandwagon “for years” but I sure was last year. I still think they’re a better team than the Giants and I expect them to win 90 games or more next year if we have a full slate of games.

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      9. Well I was one who figured the Padres would improve. How could they not, with all those talented high draft picks.

        I think the Rangers definitely have picked up some wins this off season, and they have money so no doubt they aren’t done yet. I just look at that Division and I don’t see them overtaking the top teams in it. By the time they may be good enough I think Kershaw could likely be done.

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  4. I’d like to see him stay, if they can get him on a two or three year deal at a reasonable AAV. I can’t see money being a major motivating factor for him. He’s already made a few million in his career.

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    1. I don’t recall seeing your name here before Big Fred so as the self-appointed welcoming committee I hope you’ll continue to comment.

      What would you consider a reasonable AAV?

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      1. I’ve posted here a few times before. Very long time Dodgers fan. I wouldn’t sign Kershaw for more than $20 million per, given his age and recent injury history. I know Texas (and probably other teams) would offer more.

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      2. Sorry I didn’t recognize the name. I agree, no more than 20 mil per year and I’m not at all sure that the Rangers would offer more. Actually, I think even 20 mil might be high. I’m really concerned about his arm/elbow holding up for any length of time, assuming it’s even OK to start the year.

        Ultimately, I think it might come down to the Rangers being willing to offer more years. I can’t see Andrew giving CK more than 2 years and maybe he would only go one year at a time.

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      3. I’m not sure what he’s worth. 3 years at $16m per? If he keeps his innings down, he could may be able to get 6 WAR in 3 years.

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      4. So, you’re not buying BR’s projections.

        You may be right. But at 34, I think he will get a contract to 36. Heck, somebody might pay him to 38 just for b.i.s. value.

        Hey Fred. Good to see you here.

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      5. I’m not saying he won’t get paid. I’m just saying I don’t think the arm will last the length of the contract.
        As a matter of fact I’ll go one step farther. If we’re the ones to sign him, no matter for what length of contract, I would continue to go after starting pitchers as though he wasn’t even on the roster.
        Just a total guess on my part, but I’m thinking Andrew hopes that CK retires or goes to Texas because I don’t think he could insult Kersh by only giving him a one year offer and logic says that’s the way to go.

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      6. Ok, if it turns out we don’t need him, through trade or free agent signing, then sure, let him go. I believe how much he has left depends on how much he wants it. He doesn’t need to throw 200 innings anymore to be valuable. Make him your #5 and pay him accordingly. It would be preferable to have him sign an incentive laden contract but I don’t see that happening.

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  5. Most of us would love to have CK remain a Dodger but no one should seriously consider a three year contract. I suspect he’d like to pitch another year in L.A. for a very competitive team and hang up his spikes. He wants to go out a winner after a successful 2022 season for him and the team. He’s gunna give us one more year and pitch his guts out!

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  6. For me, the outcome depends on how much longer CK wants to play. If it’s 3 years, I don’t see us signing him unless year 3 is a team option. He’s as good a #4 starter as you will find but that’s likely only sustainable for 2 more years. Kershaw being a smart guy realizes this is his last contract so I expect him to look for a three year deal @ $55 to $60 million. He probably can get that from Texas and be close to home. So, he may opt for that. I can also see him signing a one year deal with L.A. with the hopes of going out a champion and walking away from the game at the end of this season. I suspect he has two years left in the tank on a competitive team; maybe three on a team like the Rangers who are attempting to compete. Either way, the last hoo-rah is in sight. Bottom line, I think we need him in 2022 to get us over that hump in the middle of our rotation. Even with him we need another #2 starter or better guy. I think we can assume Baur will be suspended without pay for a significant portion of 2022; that should free up some bucks.

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  7. I don’t see the Dodgers offering 20 mil. per year for Kershaw. They didn’t even offer the 18.4 for QO. 2 years 38 mil. Is what they should offer him.

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