Long-time Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw was technically going to free agency, though things never got to the point where he was permitted to sign elsewhere, it appears. Just hours after the Dodgers declined to extend him a qualifying offer -- speculation indicated it was out of respect for letting Kershaw take his time on a decision -- the player and team have reportedly come to an agreement.
Kershaw, 34, has been with the Dodgers organization since they selected him seventh overall in the 2006 draft out of high school. He debuted in 2008, made his first All-Star team in 2011, won the Cy Young that same year and it was only just the beginning. We've since seen Kershaw grow into one of the greatest pitchers of a generation and probably in history. He's won three Cy Youngs and an MVP. He's 197-87 with a 2.48 ERA (157 ERA+) and 1.00 WHIP with 2,807 strikeouts in his career.
Last season, Kershaw was coming off an injury that kept him out of the 2021 playoffs, but he still went 12-3 with a 2.28 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 137 strikeouts against 23 walks in 126 1/3 innings.
Above all, it really wouldn't seem right for Kershaw to play for any other team at this point. He's going to the Hall of Fame with a Dodgers cap and as long as he wants to pitch, it seems like that deep-pocketed Dodgers are will to accommodate him to keep him around -- including not bothering him with procedural things like the qualifying offer.