May 19, 2024

Kershaw faced a significant decision this offseason, ultimately leading to his return to LA. Despite the anticipation of a productive offseason, the absence of Clayton Kershaw at Camelback Ranch on Thursday for pitchers and catchers’ reporting felt unusual. However, Kershaw’s return to the Dodgers for his 17th season was sealed with a one-year deal, featuring a player option for 2025, officially finalized on Thursday.

Clayton Kershaw's statement on Dodgers Pride Night

Reflecting on his decision, Kershaw shared that the offseason provided valuable time to deliberate with his wife, Ellen, and navigate the options ahead. Despite acknowledging his current injury status, Kershaw expressed gratitude for feeling valued by the Dodgers organization upon his return.

However, the decision to bring Kershaw back wasn’t straightforward. Following a disappointing end to the 2023 season in the National League Division Series, Kershaw recognized the offseason’s significance for his career. Taking a break to spend time with his family, Kershaw found himself faced with significant decisions for the first time in a while.

The primary consideration revolved around potential shoulder surgery, a new territory for Kershaw who had never undergone arm surgery before. Balancing the implications of surgery against his ability to maintain certain activities like playing catch with his kids, Kershaw carefully weighed his options.

Despite contemplations about retirement and the lure of joining the Rangers, Kershaw eventually opted to return to the Dodgers for another season. Factors such as his disappointing start in the NLDS and the allure of being part of the Dodgers’ talented roster influenced his decision.

While Kershaw won’t be able to contribute on the mound until at least July due to his surgery, he plans to spend time with his family in Texas before returning to Camelback Ranch in March to begin his throwing progression. Despite the offseason’s changes, having Kershaw’s presence on the Dodger Stadium mound remains a consistent and valued aspect for the team.

With a strong desire to excel and contribute to the team’s success, Kershaw maintains high expectations for himself, emphasizing his commitment to perform at his best.

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