This will be very hard for me to write, even if this doesn’t happen after the 2021 season. I’ve touched on this topic in my previous article a bit, but I’m going to dive into how it would feel if Clayton Kershaw (future 1st ballot HOF) were to leave the Dodgers or retire.
My preferred two options out of this would be Kershaw either re-signs with the Dodgers or retires. Preferably in that order. I never want to see Clayton Kershaw’s name on the back of any other jersey in baseball. Just imagine it with me for a little. Clayton Kershaw starting Opening Day of the 2022 season wearing 22 for the Toronto Blue Jays. Or he starts Opening Day for the New York Mets. I’m getting tearing up just hypothetically writing about it. These are just the first teams who popped into my head. Or think of the worst outcomes if he were to sign with the Giants or the Padres. I would feel more betrayed than I ever have. I and I imagine every Dodgers fan would be heartbroken as well.
If he retires after this year, he’ll go down as one of the best pitchers to ever play the game and the best pitcher of this generation (by far). I, along with all Dodgers fans, would be sad and heartbroken, but for different reasons. Retiring would mean 2021 could be the last time we witness Clayton Kershaw pitch, and hopefully, it’s after a back-to-back World Series championships. He is my favorite baseball player of all-time, and no one will ever replace Kershaw on the Dodgers in my eyes. There will never be another Clayton Kershaw in baseball. Sure, there will be guys who win Cy Young’s and possibly win it back-to-back, but it’ll be hard nowadays for a pitcher to win a Cy Young and get MVP in the same year.
If and only if he decides he doesn’t want to play in LA anymore and becomes a free agent. What would that mean for the Dodgers? They possibly can’t be okay with just letting a pitcher of his resumé and caliber walk… right? He is one of the players where you need to throw whatever money he asks to keep him on the Dodgers. Although with that said, the front office has to pay a lot of people coming up. Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, and Walker Buehler and just the beginning of star players we could lose to the free agency over the next few years. This is something to think about when you think if he’ll stay or not.
No one knows what he will be doing after this year. Not even the man himself knows. So let’s all enjoy this season as it unfolds and enjoy watching him go out every 5-6 days and blow us away as he usually does. After all, this just might be the last time we see number 22, Clayton Kershaw, on the Los Angeles Dodgers.