Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The focus of MLB free agency largely centered around Aaron Judge and a star-studded shortstop class, but there also were several notable starting pitchers available to sign, with Clayton Kershaw among them.
Kershaw was the first of the noteworthy arms to come off the board when he re-signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a one-year contract. Jacob deGrom, Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga and Chris Bassitt followed suit shortly after, but they all signed multi-year deals.
Kershaw, who is entering his age-34 season, likely could have commanded a more lucrative contract if he desired, but prefers choosing his team on a year-to-year basis. “Yeah, should I have held out? What’s going on?” Kershaw joked. “We’re so at peace with the way we’re doing things.
“There’s nothing wrong with however anybody wants to go about it. That’s awesome. For me, for our situation, I want to pick the team first and then figure out the contract after that. I don’t want to be told where to play. I want to pick where I play.
“If they want me, then we’ll figure it out. That’s how I want to go about it for the rest of my career. If there’s a few dollars left on the table, I’ll be OK with that.”
Kershaw’s one-year contract with the Dodgers reportedly includes a $20 million base salary for the 2023 season and a $5 million signing bonus. It marked a $3 million increase in salary from his previous one-year contract, and the value of the signing bonus doubled.
Kershaw went 12-3 with a 2.28 ERA, 2.57 FIP and 0.94 WHIP this past season, had the opportunity to start an MLB All-Star Game for the first time in his career, and also passed Don Sutton to become the all-time Dodgers strikeouts leader.
Clayton Kershaw representing Dodgers in 2023 World Baseball Classic
Kershaw has never participated in the World Baseball Classic but that is due to change in 2023 as he committed to the Team USA roster.
“Obviously it would be a huge honor to get to do that. We were all watching USA soccer and the World Cup, and how special that is to wear the jersey and how many people get behind that,” Kershaw said before the announcement was made.
“I just started throwing, so really, I’m trying to figure out how I’m feeling there. Obviously, I’ve got to talk to Mark (Prior), talk to Andrew (Friedman), and all that stuff. So I’m still a little ways away from making that call.”
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