Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw agree to deal that includes player option for 2025

Kershaw expects to return to the mound this summer after undergoing shoulder surgery in November

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 05: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on against the Miami Marlins during the fourth inning at loanDepot park on September 05, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw will be together for their 17th season in 2024.

Kershaw confirmed Feb. 8 that he signed a one-year contract with a player option for 2025 to remain with the Dodgers. According to Joel Sherman of The New York Post, the deal is for $5 million guaranteed plus up to $7.5 million in bonuses.

Kershaw was ranked No. 14 on Yahoo Sports' list of this winter's top free agents.

This signing has been a long time coming. Kershaw, 35, is approaching the end of his career, and the Dodgers are the only team he has ever played for.

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Kershaw had a great 2023, ending the regular season with a 2.46 ERA over 24 starts and 131 2/3 innings. But his only postseason start was an unqualified disaster. In Game 1 of the NLDS against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Kershaw gave up six runs and recorded a single out. In that one start, his ERA was 162.00. The Dodgers lost and were quickly eliminated from the playoffs.

Clayton Kershaw is still rehabbing, but the Dodgers don't need him (for now)

Kershaw underwent left shoulder surgery in November and said Thursday that "July-ish, August-ish" is when he'll return to the mound for the Dodgers.

“I’m on a good path right now,” he said. “I’m excited about getting ready to pitch again at Dodger Stadium. That sounds fun.”

Fortunately for the Dodgers, they are currently equipped to not need Kershaw anytime soon. After watching last year's rotation fall apart due to injuries, the Dodgers went out and spent big to sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto (12 years, $325 million) and James Paxton (one year, $7 million) and trade for Tyler Glasnow, who then signed a five-year, $135 million extension.

With young pitchers Bobby Miller and Emmet Sheehan returning and Walker Buehler waiting in the wings, the Dodgers have a potential six-man rotation set up for 2024. Of course, injuries are inevitable, which is why Kershaw agreed to such a deal and why the Dodgers will likely want him toward the end of the season.

It will be a limited season for Kershaw, but as the left-hander enters the twilight of his career, it seems he and the only franchise he has played for are on the same page as his legendary career winds down.