Clayton Kershaw ‘will always have a place’ with Dodgers, says Andrew Friedman


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Clayton Kershaw 'will always have a place' with Dodgers, says Andrew Friedman

CARLSBAD, Calif. – The Los Angeles Dodgers’ decision not to make a qualifying offer to Clayton Kershaw is not an indication that the team is predisposed to let him go.

It seems the opposite.

“We have made it very clear that if Kershaw wants to come back, he will always have a place,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Tuesday from the site of the general managers meetings.

The Dodgers extended qualifying offers to shortstop Corey Seager and utility utility Chris Taylor on Sunday, a method that rewards teams with draft pick compensation if those players sign elsewhere. Players have until the middle of next week to decide whether to accept the offer, which will pay them $ 18.4 million for the 2022 season, or reject it. Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young Award winner and arguably the greatest player in Dodgers history, did not receive one, largely due to uncertainty surrounding the health of his left arm.

The 33-year-old Kershaw missed more than two months with a sore elbow / forearm that appeared around the All-Star break. He returned in mid-September, but came out of his Oct. 1 start with a recurrence of the same problem and was unavailable during the postseason. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said at the time that Kershaw’s ulnar collateral ligament is structurally sound and does not require surgery from Tommy John, but there appears to be still a fear that he may be dealing with a long-term injury.

“I know you want to take a little time with Ellen [su esposa] to find out what’s best for them and, more importantly, get to a point where they feel good from a health standpoint, “Friedman said.” We have no reason to believe that it won’t. . But in your mind, you want to get to that point, where it feels good from a health standpoint, and go from there. This [la oferta de calificación] it would have sped up the timeline in a way that he wasn’t ready for, and I think just out of our respect for him, and what he’s done for this organization, that wasn’t something we wanted to do and put him on that kind of watch. when he wasn’t ready for it. “

The Dodgers agreed to a one-year, $ 8.5 million deal with another left-handed starter, Andrew Heaney, over the weekend, adding him to a 2022 rotation currently led by Walker Buehler and Julio Urías. Tony Gonsolin and David Price could be part of the mix, too, but the Dodgers will express keen interest in bringing Max Scherzer back and could be on the line for other big names in free agency. Trevor Bauer, who remains under criminal investigation for allegations of sexual assault, is not expected to return to the team, regardless of the length of a possible suspension by Major League Baseball, although the Dodgers have yet to comment publicly on the matter.

Friedman expressed his enthusiasm for the organization’s emerging generation of young starting pitchers at the minor league levels and said his goal in completing the 2022 rotation is to “close the short term, not block pitching spots by seeking and preventing opportunities.”

Kershaw, who would probably prefer a short-term contract, fits perfectly into that strategy, if he’s healthy, wants to keep pitching and if his hometown team, the Texas Rangers, doesn’t finally convince him.

“We’ve been very frank that we really want Kersh to come back,” Friedman said. “Not only what he meant to us looking back, but also what we think he will mean to us looking forward. That said, like all free agents, but Kersh even a little bit more, he has earned the right to be in. this position and figuring out what is best for him and his family, so there is a personal and professional tug of war for me.

Professionally, I really hope he’s back, personally I want you to do what makes the most sense for your family, and we’ll find out what that means. “


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