Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers have reached agreement on a new contract, ensuring that one of the greatest players in franchise history will remain with the only organization he has ever pitched for, sources confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday.
The structure of Kershaw’s deal is unknown, but the left-hander, who turns 36 in March, will take his physical at the Dodgers’ spring training complex in Glendale, Arizona, within the next day or two. Kershaw will return for at least his 17th season with the Dodgers but will spend at least the first half of the year recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
The Dodgers can afford to wait. Tyler Glasnow and the newly signed Yoshinobu Yamamoto will make up the top of their rotation at the start of the season, and Walker Buehler, recovering from his second Tommy John surgery, will join shortly thereafter. The Dodgers also signed James Paxton over the offseason and have Bobby Miller locking down a spot, with the likes of Emmet Sheehan, Michael Grove and Gavin Stone also able to contribute.
Kershaw was expected to sign with either the Dodgers or his hometown Texas Rangers this offseason. The New York Post first reported the agreement.
A three-time Cy Young Award winner, an MVP and the predominant pitcher of his era, Kershaw has battled a string of injuries and a decline in velocity in recent years but has nonetheless continued to be exceedingly effective.
Kershaw finished in the top three of National League Cy Young voting every year from 2011 to 2015, during which he led all MLB starting pitchers in wins (88), ERA (2.11) and WHIP (0.93) while ranking third in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.16).
Over his 16 seasons, Kershaw has held opposing batters to a .209 average while going 210-92 with a 2.48 ERA, 2,944 strikeouts and just 669 walks. He has also made 39 appearances in the postseason, starting 32 games, with a 13-13 record, a 4.49 ERA and 213 strikeouts.