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Dodgers extend qualifying offer to Trea Turner & Tyler Anderson, but not Clayton Kershaw

Deadline to accept or decline offer is November 15 at 1 p.m. PT

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MLB: OCT 12 NLDS TBA at Dodgers Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Dodgers on Thursday extended a qualifying offer to shortstop Trea Turner and pitcher and Tyler Anderson, and for the second year in a row did not make a qualifying offer to Clayton Kershaw.

The qualifying offer is a one-year, $19.65 million contract for 2023 that the players have five days to decide whether to accept or reject. The deadline this year is Tuesday, November 15 at 1 p.m. PT.

Jeff Passan at ESPN reported the full list of MLB free agents to receive a qualifying offer.

The purpose of the qualifying offer is to provide some sort of compensation to the former team if top-end free agents sign with another team. Should Turner or Anderson sign elsewhere, the Dodgers — as a competitive balance tax payer — would receive a compensatory draft pick after the end of the fourth round in 2023.

Turner will almost certainly decline, as he’s one of the top free agents on the market. He has a Jon Hamm-narrated sizzle reel, after all.

He’s rated in the top five of all free agents in national rankings at FanGraphs, CBS Sports, The Athletic (twice), and the New York Post. Turner is part of a rich crop of free agent shortstops, along with Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, and Dansby Swanson.

Turner hit .298/.343/.466 with a 128 wRC+, 21 home runs, 27 stolen bases, 39 doubles, 101 runs scored, and 100 RBI, the latter a career high.

Anderson started out the season in the bullpen but ended up leading the Dodgers with 178⅔ innings. The left-hander’s career year resulted in a 2.57 ERA that ranked fifth in the National League, his first All-Star appearance, and a 15-5 record. Anderson led the majors in lowest hard-hit rate (28.5 percent) and lowest average exit velocity (85.0 mph).

After making $8 million on his one-year deal with the Dodgers plus another $500,000 for pitching at least 100 innings, and earning just over $16 million in his career, Anderson seems poise to truly cash in for the first time in his career, while turning 33 in December. But $19.65 million for one year might be enticing enough to take.

No Kershaw

The Dodgers last November did not extend a qualifying offer to Kershaw, out of courtesy to the franchise icon who was entering an offseason of great uncertainty after an elbow injury that kept him out of the 2021 playoffs, not wanting to rush his decision.

This year, Kershaw ended the season healthy, and posted his best full-season ERA in six years. At the end-of-season press conference on October 18, Dodgers president of Andrew Friedman hinted at extending the same courtesy to Kershaw this year.

“From our standpoint, nothing has changed. My strong hope is that Clayton Kershaw is pitching here next year,” Friedman said. “But like I said last year, for him to take the time and put his head together with Ellen and figure out what makes the most sense for their family is what we’re going to afford them the time to do. Whether it’s a decision they make quickly, or it takes some time, I’m not sure of that right now.”

At the MLB general manager meetings in Las Vegas on November 8, Friedman told reporters, “Things just feel more right in the world when Kershaw is wearing a Dodgers uniform. ... That’s just how it lands with us. We couldn’t respect more him and Ellen going through this process. But it’s definitely a real priority for us,” per Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times.

Kershaw at multiple times during the season said he planned on playing again in 2023, but reserved the right to change his mind. The lure of being home with his family and four kids remains strong, but whether it’s strong enough to do so while still playing but for his hometown Rangers that lost 94 games last year remains to be seen.