Based on MLB rumors, when free agency arrives after this season, the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching star Clayton Kershaw may opt out in search of a new deal. That means that L.A. will need to make it a top priority to re-sign him, or he'll end up getting a huge deal from another team looking to improve their rotation. Based on a survey of people around Major League Baseball last month, there are several potential landing sports besides the Dodgers. Here's the latest on Kershaw's situation as the 2018 MLB season is already underway.
In a report on Thursday from Fan Rag Sports' Jon Heyman, it's noted that Clayton Kershaw has two years left on his current contract after this year with an average annual salary of $32 million. He may be a loyal member of the Dodgers and decides to just continue with that deal. However, based on his resume, Heyman contends that it would be foolish to believe he won't choose to opt out after this year. Kershaw is now 30-years-old and still producing stellar seasons in which he contends for the National League Cy Young Award each year. He's won that award three times already with the most recent coming in 2014.The feeling around the L.A. Dodgers clubhouse is also that Kershaw will opt out of this current deal. Further backing things up is the sense of other people in MLB. A poll conducted by ESPN involving personnel from around the league also believes that Kershaw will choose to opt out of the current deal. Twenty-two out of the 43 individuals polled said he will opt out and restructure the deal to involve a bigger payday. The good news for Dodgers fans is those individuals also believe he'll stay with his current team too.
One National League talent evaluator who responded to the poll said as follows.
"Clayton is a one-team guy in my opinion. He is chasing Koufax as a best of all time. He knows the best way to do that is with one team."Since 2008, Clayton Kershaw has never pitched for any other team in the majors outside of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 30-year-old has started off this latest season slow going 0-2 so far but has struck out 19 batters and achieved a 1.89 ERA. For his career, those numbers are even more impressive and probably worthy of Cooperstown one day. He's struck out 2,139 batters, posted an ERA of 2.36 and recorded a 144-66 record which has included leading his team into the postseason.What if Clayton Kershaw opts out and joins a new team, though? Six respondents in ESPN's poll last month believe he'll do that and four of them said the Texas Rangers will end up signing the pitching star. Among Texas' major selling points for Kershaw are that it is his home area (he was born in Dallas) and they have no state income tax on all that money he'd earn. In addition, a brand-new $1.2 billion ballpark will begin to be used by the Rangers in 2020, complete with a retractable roof.
The other two teams that joined the conversation are the Houston Astros and New York Yankees, in case those rosters weren't loaded enough. However, only one respondent picked each of those teams as Kershaw's landing spots. Time will tell if Kershaw remains loyal to Los Angeles in his pursuit of greatness or another team manages to outbid the Dodgers in terms of his new deal.