Dodgers fans, you can breathe easy for now. The face of the franchise for the past ten years in Los Angeles is not leaving yet, as Clayton Kershaw’s deadline is pushed back.
The Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw have agreed to extend the deadline on his option decision until Friday at 4 p.m. ET.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) November 1, 2018
Fans had eagerly been waiting all day long wondering what Kershaw might do. The 30-year-old left-hander still has two years left on his seven-year deal, which included over $70 million in guaranteed money. Oddsmakers had put the Dodgers as the team most likely to have Kershaw for the start of the 2019 season.
Many felt that Kershaw could potentially walk away from Los Angeles or vice versa. After all, number 22 had seen more than his share of injuries over the course of the last few seasons. It can be kind of difficult to justify a thirty million dollar man when he hasn’t made thirty starts since 2015.
But this delay seems to echo the point of most reports out there. It has been made clear time and time again that Kershaw would like to return to Los Angeles, and that the Dodgers want him for as long as he pitches. A delay in a decision would seem to indicate that a deal is indeed being worked on.
It seems likely that a deal signing him through the 2022 season would make sense, perhaps with a front-loaded contract. This would protect the team in case he declines rapidly.
In what will be his 12th year with the team in Kershaw would begin 2019 with 316 starts and 2096 innings pitched in the regular season. In that time, he has accumulated 2275 strikeouts to put him near the top fifty all-time with time left to go. I would estimate that he finishes up with over 3000 strikeouts and near the top 15 all-time. He has also accumulated a career 2.39 ERA, which puts him in pretty good company.
Regardless of his postseason narrative, it’s good to have a fighting chance at getting Kershaw back to LA. I am sure you will join me in that sentiment and root for him for years to come.
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