Clayton Kershaw simply hasn't proven himself since he's arrived in MLB and needs a successful postseason run to justify his next contract. KIDDING!
But Kershaw did say his future in baseball hinges on the health of his left shoulder. And he told everyone this past offseason he almost decided to sign with the Texas Rangers to be closer to home. Health and individual performance seem to hold a lot of weight here.
Kershaw continues to remain cryptic about his future despite the fact he's starting Game 1 of the NLDS while not 100% healthy. He's also 56 strikeouts shy of 3,000. He can't possibly retire or achieve that milestone in another uniform, can he?
Unless the whole game of cat and mouse with him and the Rangers has been fake all along, Kershaw is probably coming back to the Dodgers for one more season to finish out a storied career. But we must err on the side of caution because of how guarded he's been, coupled with the fact he's dealing with yet another injury with his age-36 season on the horizon. Time and time again, he's reiterated the importance of team success over individual accolades, so we can't be etching his return in stone if he stumbles in October because of his shoulder problem.