As the season winds down, Clayton Kershaw (35-LA Dodgers) is starting to think about retirement. Kershaw himself still doesn’t know if he’ll throw a ball next year.
According to the Orange County Register, a local California newspaper, Kershaw said, “I don’t know if this will be my last year with the Dodgers. I really don’t know. There are so many variables.” He continued, “I understand people asking, but it’s a little uncomfortable. I don’t want the spotlight on me. If I have an answer, I’ll tell you. I don’t know yet,” he reiterated.
Another local publication, the Los Angeles Times, also reported that “Next month could be Kershaw’s last with the Dodgers. The 35-year-old could become a free agent this offseason or choose to retire. “I’m just thinking about winning a World Series. I’ll put all the personal stuff aside. I always approach everything like it’s my last home game, my last playoff game,” Kershaw said of a potential move to his hometown team, Texas, “Emotions can change. Sometimes I think about it, but I won’t think about it until the end of the season.”
Kershaw signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers after the 2021 season for the second straight year. He re-signed with the Dodgers for $17 million in 2022 and $20 million this year. Each of his short-term, one-year deals has led to speculation of retirement or a move to his hometown Texas Rangers at this time of year, but the bottom line has always been that he’s staying with the Dodgers.
This year, I started to think about it around the same time. Despite real offers from Texas over the past few years, Kershaw remained with the Dodgers. With Kershaw cemented as a Dodgers one-club man, the option of a trade has all but been erased. The only question now is whether or not he’ll get an extension. At this time last year, Kershaw quashed retirement speculation by saying he was “leaning toward at least one more year,” but this year is different.
He’s still going strong this season, going 12-4 with a 2.52 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 22 games (121 1/3 innings), but there’s a little more weight to the idea of retirement. “If the Dodgers had won again last year, I probably would have retired,” Kershaw told USA Today Sports in July. “I have four kids and a wife, so there are a lot of factors to consider. Last year, it was an easy decision, but this year, I honestly don’t know,” he said, hinting at retirement.
First and foremost, his left shoulder is not in good shape. After a month on the disabled list in late June with shoulder soreness, Kershaw’s velocity dropped noticeably upon his return in the middle of last month. Concerns grew when his fastball reached just 89.9 mph (144.7 km/h) against the Miami Marlins on June 6, and it was revealed that he was still dealing with soreness after his return.
After skipping a rotation and taking 10 days off, Kershaw’s velocity dropped further to 89.5 mph (144.0 km/h) against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday. He’s 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA in six starts since returning, but all have gone five innings or less and are being managed to prevent a recurrence of the injury. He’s hanging in there, but it’s a close call.
According to the Orange County Register, Kershaw admitted that the question is whether he will be in good enough shape to pitch a full season next year. Kershaw has been battling injuries, big and small, every year since entering his 30s, and he’s tired. If his body can’t take it anymore, he’ll have no choice but to retire. If the Dodgers win the World Series, the possibility of retirement becomes even more likely.
Kershaw, who has been with the Dodgers for 16 years since his debut in 2008, is 209-91 with a 2.48 ERA and 2,934 strikeouts in 423 career games (420 starts-2702⅓ innings). He’s won three Cy Young Awards, one MVP, led the league in ERA five times, was a 10-time All-Star, and won a World Series. He’s a living legend who could retire any day now and still be in the Hall of Fame.바카라사이트
Kershaw will take the mound at home against the San Francisco Giants on April 24. The Dodgers’ final home game of the regular season this year. It could also be Kershaw’s last regular-season start at Dodger Stadium.