Clayton Kershaw signed a one-year, $20-million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the 2023 season, which will be his 16th season with the team.
The deal came together much quicker than last offseason, which was encumbered by Kershaw’s elbow injury and the MLB lockout. This year, Kershaw is healthy, coming off a stellar season that saw him go 12-3 with a 2.28 ERA in 22 starts, with 137 strikeouts in 126⅓ innings.
Kershaw agreed to return to the Dodgers within days of reaching free agency in November, and the contract was finalized on December 5. The left-hander receives a $5-million signing bonus and $15-million base salary for 2023.
He said he plans to go year-to-year going forward, with the Dodgers and his hometown Rangers the only teams Kershaw would consider.
“We are so at peace with the way we’re doing things,” Kershaw said. “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.”
Kershaw, the three-time Cy Young Award winner and nine-time All-Star who turns 35 in March, enters 2023 with 197 career wins and 2,807 strikeouts, the latter a Dodgers record. By throwing a pitch for the Dodgers in 2023, he’ll tie Don Sutton’s franchise record by pitching in sixteen seasons with the team.