The sun hasn’t set on Clayton Kershaw’s Dodgers tenure after all.
The free-agent pitcher and longtime Dodgers icon agreed to a new contract on Tuesday to return to the team, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly. The agreement keeps the veteran left-hander in Los Angeles as he embarks upon the most uncertain stretch of his decorated 15-year career.
The terms of Kershaw’s contract were not immediately known, but the pitcher is scheduled to have a physical later this week, sources said. Starting Thursday, teams can place players on the 60-day injured list — which would make sense timing-wise for Kershaw, given he will miss much of the upcoming season after undergoing shoulder surgery in the offseason.
After experiencing shoulder troubles late last season — when he managed a sterling 2.46 ERA in 24 regular-season starts before being battered in the playoffs by the Arizona Diamondbacks — Kershaw underwent a procedure in November to repair the gleno-humeral ligaments and capsule of his left throwing shoulder.
The operation marked Kershaw’s first surgery as a player. It will likely keep him off the mound until at least the second half of the upcoming 2024 season. And, as the left-hander nears his 36th birthday, it will present perhaps the biggest obstacle yet in his bid to maintain dominance late into his Hall of Fame-caliber career.
Yet, it wasn’t enough to force Kershaw into retirement, nor prompt a long-speculated move to his hometown Texas Rangers — the only other team the Dallas native has considered signing with during his forays into free agency the past three offseasons.
Instead, Kershaw will stay in the Southland and forge on with the only MLB franchise for which he has ever played; hopeful that, even as the shadows of his career grow longer, bright days remain on the horizon for him and the Dodgers.
This is a developing news story and will be updated.