I did a short Twitter thread that recapped my season-long stance on the future of Clayton Kershaw, who can opt out of his contract with the Dodgers this week. In case you missed it, here it is …
Regarding Clayton Kershaw’s future, I wrote two pieces this season:
- Why ‘Dodger for life’ looks good for Clayton Kershaw (March 4)
- Clayton Kershaw and the value beyond a World Series (September 20)
My position on Kershaw remains: If he’s healthy and he’s interested in pitching past 2020, it makes sense to opt out. Not to improve his 2019-20 pay, but to improve his 2019-2023 pay. He is better off negotiating his 2021-23 salary at age 30, even w/short-term paycut.
However, if for whatever reason Kershaw sees himself retiring on the early side, then it wouldn’t make sense to opt out unless he has a major desire to pitch home games in the state of Texas. Which I’m not convinced he has. Plus, I do kinda think Kershaw likes the NL.
Finally, as I wrote in March, whether you think other teams will pursue him hard, or you think he’s damaged goods, there is no team Kershaw provides more value (on field and off) than the Dodgers. Whatever Kershaw commands, I believe Los Angeles will make the best offer.
This is an outsider’s evaluation. I have no inside information on either Kershaw’s thinking or that of any front office.