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Clayton Kershaw ‘will all the time have a spot’ with Los Angeles Dodgers, Andrew Friedman says

CARLSBAD, Calif. — The Los Angeles Dodgers‘ choice to not tender a qualifying provide to Clayton Kershaw just isn’t a sign that the staff is predisposed to letting him go away.

Fairly the other, it appears.

“We have made it very clear that if Kershaw needs to come back again, he’ll all the time have a spot,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman mentioned Tuesday from the positioning of the overall managers conferences.

The Dodgers prolonged qualifying gives to shortstop Corey Seager and utility man Chris Taylor on Sunday, a technique that rewards groups with draft-pick compensation if these gamers signal elsewhere. Gamers have till the center of subsequent week to determine whether or not to simply accept the provide, which can pay them $18.4 million for the 2022 season, or reject it. Kershaw, a three-time Cy Younger Award winner who’s arguably the best participant in Dodgers historical past, did not obtain one, largely due to the uncertainty surrounding the well being of his left arm.

Kershaw, 33, missed greater than two months with elbow/forearm irritation that popped up across the All-Star break. He returned in the course of September, however exited his Oct. 1 begin with a recurrence of the identical difficulty and was unavailable all through the postseason. Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts mentioned then that Kershaw’s ulnar collateral ligament is structurally sound and that he doesn’t require Tommy John surgical procedure, but it surely appears as if there’s nonetheless a worry that he could possibly be coping with a long-term harm.

“I do know he needs to take some time with Ellen [his wife] to determine what’s finest for them, and likewise extra importantly get to a degree the place he feels good health-wise,” Friedman mentioned. “We’ve got no cause to imagine that he will not. However in his thoughts, he needs to get to that time, the place he feels good from a well being standpoint, and go from there. This [the qualifying offer] would have accelerated the timeline in a method that he wasn’t prepared for, and I feel simply from our respect for him, and what he is achieved for this group, that wasn’t one thing that we needed to do and put him on that form of clock when he wasn’t prepared for it.”

The Dodgers agreed on a one-year, $8.5 million contract with one other left-handed starter, Andrew Heaney, over the weekend, including him to a 2022 rotation that’s at present fronted by Walker Buehler and Julio Urias. Tony Gonsolin and David Price additionally could possibly be a part of the combo, however the Dodgers will specific heavy curiosity in bringing again Max Scherzer and is likely to be in play for different massive names in free company. Trevor Bauer, who stays below legal investigation over sexual assault allegations, just isn’t anticipated to return to the staff, whatever the size of a possible suspension by Main League Baseball, although the Dodgers have but to touch upon the matter publicly.

Friedman expressed enthusiasm in regards to the rising crop of younger beginning pitchers on the group’s minor league ranges and mentioned his aim in filling out the 2022 rotation is to “bridge the quick time period, not lock up pitching spots looking and stopping alternatives.”

Kershaw, who would in all probability choose a short-term deal, completely suits that technique — if he is wholesome, if he needs to maintain pitching and if his hometown Texas Rangers do not finally sway him.

“We have been very outspoken that we actually need Kersh to come back again,” Friedman mentioned. “Not solely what he is meant to us trying again, but additionally what we predict he’ll imply for us trying ahead. That being mentioned — similar to each free agent, however Kersh even just a little bit extra so — he has earned the fitting to be on this place and work out what’s finest for him and his household. So there’s like a private and knowledgeable tug of battle for me. Professionally I actually hope he is again, personally I need them to do what makes probably the most sense for his or her household, and we’ll work out what which means.”

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