Dodgers Should Not Re-sign Clayton Kershaw If He Opts Out

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Clayton Kershaw /

After the 2018 season, Clayton Kershaw has a big decision to make: whether to opt out of his contract or not. After his latest injury, I believe the Dodgers should not re-sign him unless he is willing to do a shorter deal or a deal worth less money. 

If the Dodgers‘ ace decides to opt out, he would be entering free agency at the age of 31, most likely looking for his last big contract. The lefty would be walking away from about $70 million over the final two seasons in search of a longer-term deal.

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Parting with Kershaw seemed unimaginable a couple of seasons ago, but his recent injury history is a reason for concern. He has missed significant time due to his injured back over the past two seasons and based on what he says about it; it doesn’t sound like this is an injury that will go away anytime soon. Backs are very tricky, and in all likelihood, it seems like he will be dealing with this for the rest of his career.

If the southpaw were to opt out, he would most likely be looking for more money and more years. History has shown us that large long-term contracts for pitcher’s in their thirties have not turned out well.

Long-term contracts for any player in his thirties, in general, haven’t worked out. Just look at Alex Rodriguez, Carl Crawford, Barry Zito, Albert Pujols or even Zack Greinke to some extent. It is for this reason that I believe the Dodgers should let Kershaw walk.

Another reason the Dodgers should let Kershaw walk is the amount of talent on the trade market that offseason. After the 2018 season, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper will be on the free agent market.

These players are franchise-caliber players that can change the trajectory of any team. Also, both of these players will only be 26-years-old. Machado does play the same position as Justin Turner, but JT will be 34-years-old. Harper plays right field, but moving Yasiel Puig to left field would be an easy transition.

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Overall, I would love to see Clayton Kershaw in Dodger blue for the rest of his career. However, it all comes down to the number of years. The Dodgers can afford to pay Kershaw an inflated rate if it means fewer years. But if he wants a long-term deal, based on his injury history, it would be best for the organization to invest that money in a younger star.