The Dodgers are bringing back left-handed starter Clayton Kershaw on a one-year deal, according to a report Friday afternoon from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that the deal is worth $17 million plus incentives.
Free-agent left-hander Clayton Kershaw is in agreement with the Dodgers on a one-year deal, pending a physical, sources tell @TheAthletic.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 11, 2022
Kershaw gets $17M plus incentives on Dodgers deal— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 11, 2022
There was speculation that Kershaw could leave Los Angeles this offseason after pitching there for his first 14 major league seasons. But the soon-to-be 34-year-old ultimately returned to the only team he’s ever known, joining a rotation mix that also includes Walker Buehler, Tony Gonsolin, Andrew Heaney, and potentially Trevor Bauer — who may face a suspension — and Dustin May, who is working his way back from Tommy John surgery.
Kershaw had his worst season since his rookie year (2008) in 2021, though that’s not saying a whole lot for the future Hall of Fame. He posted a 3.55 ERA with a 1.02 WHIP, 144 strikeouts, and 21 walks over 121.1 innings. He’s coming off forearm discomfort and elbow inflammation that caused him to hit the disabled list twice in 2021 and kept him from pitching in the postseason.
With Kershaw back, the Dodgers will retain a large chunk of the core that helped them get to the NLCS last fall, though they’ve lost shortstop Corey Seager and deadline acquisition Max Scherzer in free agency and still have yet to re-sign relievers Kenley Jansen and Joe Kelly.