The Dodgers on Friday made official their one-year contract with Clayton Kershaw, which includes a player option for 2025. To make room on the 40-man roster, pitcher Tony Gonsolin was placed on the 60-day injured list.
Kershaw’s total guarantee is $10 million, which includes a $5 million salary in 2024 that could max out at $12 million this season, with other escalators, per Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic.
Kershaw was at Camelback Ranch on Thursday, the day pitchers and catchers reported to Dodgers camp, and met with reporters.
Clayton Kershaw is on the 2nd week of his throwing program. It's early enough that his timeline remains vague.— Alden González (@Alden_Gonzalez) February 8, 2024
"Julyish," he said. "Augustish."
He's going back home & will return in early March. He wants to be further along "before I bother people with having to deal with me."
Since integration (1947-present), only nine pitchers have pitched in at least 17 seasons for one team. Kershaw if and when he throws a pitch in 2024 would become the 10th, and surpass Don Sutton for the most seasons pitched in Dodgers history.
Most seasons pitched for one team
This was the third time Kershaw reached free agency, and after signing last year’s $20 million contract, Kershaw said he was fine with going year to year in free agency, mulling whether to remain with the Dodgers or pitch for his hometown Rangers.
“We are so at peace with the way we’re doing things,” he said in December 2022. “For me, for our situation, I want to pick the team first and then figure out the contract after that. I don’t want to be told where to play, I want to pick where to play, and if they want me, we’ll figure it out. That’s how I want to go about it the rest of my career, and if there’s a few dollars left on the table, I’ll be okay with that.”
The calculus changed a bit with Kershaw having surgery in November to repair the gleno-humeral ligaments and capsule in his left shoulder, a procedure that is expected to keep him out until at least after the All-Star break in 2024. While this deal could take Kershaw through 2025, the choice remains his.
“Andrew letting me have optionality was awesome,” Kershaw told reporters at Camelback Ranch on Thursday, when Dodgers pitchers and catchers reported to Camelback Ranch. “If everything works out, it should be good for both sides. Anytime you can have optionality, it’s not a bad thing.”
"Didn't want to go out that way, so I think that was ultimately how I came to it." Clayton Kershaw discusses his decision to re-sign with the Dodgers and gives a rough timeline for his return. pic.twitter.com/EeML4Rq72U— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) February 9, 2024
Also on Friday, the Dodgers announced that a Kershaw bobblehead will be given away on September 25 against the Padres at Dodger Stadium.
Gonsolin had Tommy John surgery on September 1, and is expected to miss the entire 2024 season. With three years, 152 days of service time, Gonsolin will have two more years of arbitration-eligibility in 2025 and 2026.