After years of disastrous postseason pitching performances, should the Dodgers move on from Clayton Kershaw before the 2022 season?
Just a few years ago the idea of the Dodgers trading Clayton Kershaw was frowned upon. However, after back to back World Series losses, an NLDS exit and a disastrous postseason legacy fans are now intrigued by the idea.
The 2019 Dodgers’ season as we all know ended much earlier than expected. There are many fingers to point to whom the blame should be on. However, no one gets more of the blame other than Clayton Kershaw.
Now before I go on let me say this, I do not blame Kershaw for the game five NLDS loss. I do not blame Kershaw for losing game two either. As all of us Dodgers fans know, Clayton Kershaw does not have the best track record in the postseason.
Now, why is there even a slight argument for the Dodgers front office to even think about trading the face of the franchise? Well, times change and the role of a player changes. Back in 2013, when the Dodgers extended Kershaw to a record-breaking seven-year deal it was a no brainer, and the thought of ever trading him seemed like a fantasy.
Yet here we are in 2019 the Dodgers still have yet to win the World Series. To many fans, Kershaw and his lack of success in the postseason are to blame. With young pitching prospects finally making their way up to MLB and showing success such as Walker Buehler, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin, Kershaw’s role seems to have been put in to question.
At the end of the 2018 season, the Dodgers and Kershaw reached an agreement on a new contract, three years ninety-three million and would make him a free agent after the 2021 season. As of right now, Kershaw has two years left and sixty-two million dollars left to be paid.
If the front office wanted to go all-in on their young starters and perhaps sign an arm like Gerrit Cole this offseason, Kershaw’s role seems diminished. The case of trading him to a team like the Texas Rangers in his home state of Texas makes a lot of sense.
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Not only would it free the Dodgers from the burden of trying to satisfy an aging star but it would allow the team to try a different route rather than depend on Kershaw. Typically, players with one or two years of control tend to be moved so the team can get the most return out of the player.
If the Dodgers front office wants to sell on what Kershaw’s value is now and pay a good chunk of his remaining salary while also getting a decent return it all starts to make too much sense. The goal of the team now is to win a World Series and at this point, I don’t care if Kershaw is on or off the roster if that means LA finally gets a championship.
Now I one hundred percent do not think the Dodgers will take this route but questions like these are what happens when the franchise is in a championship drought. Even with Kershaw’s postseason nightmares and age starting to catch up with him, Kershaw is still one of the best starting pitchers in Major League Baseball.
The Dodgers are better with Clayton and the front office knows it. Clayton Kershaw has given his all every season. The level of dedication to every pitch is what makes Kershaw so great. Despite all this Kershaw has yet to hoist the commissioner’s trophy. With two years left on his contract Kershaw and the Dodgers need to get it done.