February 27, 2024

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Clayton Kershaw agrees to a contract to return to the Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw agrees to a contract to return to the Dodgers

The Dodgers are bringing back their longtime franchise, agreeing to a deal with southpaw Clayton Kershaw, a source told MLB.com on Tuesday. The club has not confirmed the move, pending a physical examination scheduled for Thursday.

Kershaw is scheduled to return for his 17th big-league season, though he is not expected to be available until sometime next summer after undergoing surgery on his left shoulder following the Dodgers' loss to the D-backs in the NLDS.

Kershaw is one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history, a former NL MVP, 10-time All-Star, three-time Cy Young Award winner, and World Series champion. He has a 2.48 lifetime ERA, and a 157 ERA+ That ranks him second in AL/NL history He trails Mariano Rivera (205) among pitchers with at least 1,000 innings pitched.

Although his postseason performance has been spotty, most recently allowing six runs while recording just one run against Arizona in Game 1 of the NLDS, Kershaw has had his share of playoff glory as well. The southpaw played an integral role in the 2020 World Series in Los Angeles, posting a 2.93 ERA over five starts during the postseason that year.

Selected seventh overall by the Dodgers in the 2006 MLB Draft, Kershaw has spent his entire career with Los Angeles, where he debuted in 2008 and contributed to one of the most successful eras in franchise history. With Kershaw leading their rotation, the Dodgers have made the playoffs in each of the past 11 years, winning 10 NL pennants and three NL pennants in that span.

The Texas native won his first NL Cy Young Award in 2011 and two more years later. In 2014, he won his third Cy Young Award as well as the NL MVP award, going 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and 239 strikeouts over 198 1/3 innings.

Kershaw has managed to maintain his great success in the face of injuries and declining speed in recent years. In 133 appearances since 2018, he has gone 66-28 with a 2.77 ERA (149 ERA+), a 1.01 WHIP and a 5.09 K/BB ratio.