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Dodgers: Andrew Friedman Reveals Why LA Didn’t Extend Clayton Kershaw A Qualifying Offer

The Dodgers will keep Clayton Kershaw as long as Kershaw wants to be in LA



The moment the Dodgers season was over, the doom-posters immediately went for Dodgers’ fans’ knees. There was discussion about the prospect of Clayton Kershaw never playing in a Dodgers uniform again. When the Dodgers didn’t offer Clayton Kershaw a qualifying offer, this made it worse. Never mind the fact that not offering Kershaw a qualifying offer doesn’t conclude anything.

On Tuesday, Andrew Friedman decided to clarify these reasons, and the logic becomes an honorable choice. 

Respecting The Greatest Dodger Pitcher Since Koufax

Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic was among those who reported what Friedman had to say at day one of the general manager meetings in Carlsbad, CA.

“We’ve made it very clear that if Kersh wants to come back, he will always have a spot with what he’s meant to this organization, not just looking back but with what we think he can do for us next year.”

Those words are not hollow. Friedman makes it clear that not only does Kershaw’s legacy afford the Dodgers front office to discuss their next move with Kershaw together, but it also implies it is Kershaw’s choice. Baseball is a business, but letting Kershaw be part of that choice is a tremendous show of respect. 

Not Rushing Kershaw’s Choice For His Family

Friedman went on about why extending him a qualifying offer would have put Kershaw in a tougher spot.

“I know he wants to take a little time with Ellen and figure out what’s best for them and also, more importantly, get to a point where he feels good health-wise. We have no reason to believe that he won’t…This would’ve accelerated the timeline.”

Another nice show of respect. Kershaw is the ultimate family man. His choice on what to do next in his career depends greatly on what is best for his family. 

“I think just with our respect for him and for what he’s done for this organization, that wasn’t something that we wanted to do and put him on that kind of clock when he wasn’t ready for it.”

The subtext that is to be extracted here is that the Dodgers and Kershaw are on the same page. If Kershaw wants to come back, the Dodgers are going to work it out.

Related: Andrew Friedman Talks Clayton Kershaw’s Free Agency and Future in LA

This makes the legacy of Clayton Kershaw’s future at least more comfortable for Dodger fans. If Kershaw feels it is time to hang it up, at least Dodger fans can know Kershaw retires a Dodger forever. If for some reason Kershaw chooses to play somewhere else, it is a family decision and not for any reason that involves acrimony or a souring of his relationship with the Dodger family. Should Kershaw comes back…well Dodger fans get Clayton Kershaw for another few years. Best-case scenario.

NEXT: Insider Suggests LA Could Offer Clayton Kershaw Incentive Laden Contract

Written by AJ Gonzalez

AJ is a lifelong Dodgers and Lakers fan who grew up in California. His whole family is also lifelong Dodgers fans. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, two kids, his guitars, and beagle Kobe.

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  1. Forgive my skepticism but that sounds like typical Friedman to me. How much thought is required to accept or turn down a qualifying offer? This has been coming for a long time and if Kershaw is uncertain, just say no.

    My bet is that Friedman was afraid Kershaw might accept and the Dodgers would be on the hook for $18+ million to a guy whose health is in question.

    That said I love Clayton Kershaw and hope a reasonable deal is coming that will keep him a Dodger- for the rest of his career.

  2. If you believe Freidman or any executive, you’re gullible. If he and Kasten don’t spend the money they have to keep certain players – Kersh, Jansen, CT, Buehler, Urias, Seager or Turner – they will have squandered the best roster the Dodgers have ever had.
    Also, dump the guy who betrayed them this year.

  3. It’s an appropriate lie. LA doesn’t want to be on the hook for $18 mill for a guy whose arm is an unknown right now. The truth would be disrespectful to a legend, so AF tees it up a different way. And it does give Kershaw the most flexibility, as any team who might want him doesn’t have to consider losing a pick.

    Nothing at all wrong with the way this is being handled.

  4. I appreciate everything that Kersh has done for us, but it’s time to move on. Justin Verlander would be a worthy replacement. He is another future hall of fame pitcher who threw pitches up to 97MPH at his showcase. Like Scherzer, he is an older pitcher, but he has proven that he still has gas left in his tank.

  5. The ORG just put the ball completely in Kershaw’s court by having him make the choice between salary and Legacy. The ORG just implied they will not overpay for an obvious deteriorating pitcher, injury, age, nor will they be boxed into the corner to purchase his Legacy. Kershaw will now need to decide what he believes his Legacy is worth and whether a higher salary elsewhere enough to move on for the Dodgers.

  6. I think if Friedman were worried Kershaw would leave, he’d have extended the QO. Dodgers can outbid anyone if Kersh’s decision is financial and my guess is they’ll offer him a more incentive based contract because of his injury. Even though they say he doesn’t need surgery, having such a significant injury twice in a season is concerning.

  7. Since when are wins not important anymore? Urias led all of Baseball with 20 wins. That was almost 20% of all Dodger victories. An ERA under 3? Nearly 200 K’s? Why no love?

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