Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw is undecided about remaining with the team as the clock ticks on his three-day window to opt out of his existing contract.
Kershaw, the losing pitcher in Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday, said after the game he will take the next three days to discuss his future with the Dodgers and his family and “go from there.”
“I haven’t made the decision yet. We have three days to talk, between us and the Dodgers, see what happens,” Kershaw said.
When asked if he is open to staying if this conversations are positive, Kershaw didn’t commit.
“I think we’ll have some conversations, for sure,” he said.
Kershaw made $33 million in 2018. The seven-year, $215 million contract he signed included an $18 million signing bonus and runs through 2020, his age 32 season.
Opting out of the contract and the two remaining years on that deal — which would pay $32 million next season and $33 million in 2020 — could send Kershaw into free agency next month.
Among the possible outcomes, Kershaw and the Dodgers could agree to a new long-term agreement, add to the existing deal or the southpaw could be allowed to talk to other teams.
Kershaw said Sunday night he wasn’t ready to shift the storyline to himself.
“I know the future questions are obviously coming for myself,” he said. “I don’t want to take away from tonight, obviously, and what everybody is feeling. I never want to put the focus just on me or anything like that. This was a tough one for us tonight, it really was. Myself, personally, you know, it was tough. David pitched a great game and I got outpitched and we lost the game. I’ve got three days now to think about all of that stuff before anything happens. And so it will be an eventful three days for me, and I’ll try to figure it out.”
The Dodgers, who also have a contract option on manager Dave Roberts, have roster decisions to make on shortstop Manny Machado, catcher Yasmani Grandal, left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu, second baseman Brian Dozier and relief pitcher Ryan Madson, among others.
Roberts said he didn’t have a one-on-one conversation with Kershaw after Game 5.
“The only thing, I didn’t have a one-on-one moment. I talked to the guys and basically said I’m proud of everybody and how fortunate I am to be around these men,” Roberts said. “And I did mention Clayton by name as far as his legacy with the Dodgers, and what he’s done for the organization, the fan base. Wearing this jersey Clayton, exemplifies what it is to be a Dodger and to be a man of character. So whatever decision he makes that is with him and his family. But for me to be on his team for three years I’ve learned a tremendous amount from him, and I’ll take that going forward. This one hurts for him. This one hurts for all of us. But the effort, the preparation, all the hard work that he has put in and his teammates for me is unparalleled.”
—Field Level Media