The Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw are nearing agreement on a one-year deal that would bring the future Hall of Fame left-hander back to Los Angeles for a 16th season, a source confirmed to ESPN on Thursday night.
The Athletic first reported the development.
Kershaw's deal is expected to be of similar value to the one-year, $17 million contract he signed shortly after the owners' lockout concluded in March. The Dodgers declined to extend Kershaw the $19.65 million qualifying offer earlier on Thursday, just like they did early last offseason, largely because they didn't want to pressure him into making a decision earlier than he might have wanted.
Kershaw, 34, continued to perform like one of the sport's best pitchers when healthy last season, going 12-3 with a 2.28 ERA in 126⅓ innings, striking out 137 batters and issuing only 23 walks while starting the All-Star Game from Dodger Stadium. But Kershaw also continued to battle health issues, serving two separate stints on the injured list because of discomfort in his lower back.
A three-time Cy Young Award winner, Kershaw is widely expected to go year to year at this point in his career, but he had basically decided on returning for the 2023 season down the stretch. The Texas Rangers, the team he grew up rooting for, which resides near his offseason home and is now run by his friend, pitcher-turned-executive Chris Young, were seen as a potential threat to his re-signing with the Dodgers.
But Kershaw, who deeply values the opportunity to compete for championships on a yearly basis, again chose to return to the only major league team he has ever pitched for.
The Dodgers began the offseason looking to replenish their rotation but now have four starting pitchers locked in for next year, with Kershaw joining Julio Urias, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin. Tyler Anderson, who broke out as an All-Star last season, was extended the qualifying offer and has until Tuesday to accept or reject it.
The Dodgers declined their $16 million option on Justin Turner's contract Thursday but are hopeful he -- like Kershaw -- will return in 2023.