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Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw Says He's 'Leaning Towards' Playing in 2023 MLB Season

Erin WalshSeptember 25, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 24: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium on September 24, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw hasn't decided on whether or not he'll return for the 2023 season, but he's at least considering it.

"As of now, I haven’t really thought a whole lot about next year," Kershaw said, per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. "But I do think I’m leaning towards playing over not, for sure."

Kershaw added: "I hold the right to change my mind, but as of today, I think that I’ve got at least one more run."

Kershaw spent much of the second half of the 2021 season, including the playoffs, dealing with a left elbow ailment. He avoided Tommy John surgery and opted to have a platelet-rich plasma injection instead, which resulted in a lengthy recovery.

Because of the elbow injury, it was unclear if Kershaw would return for the 2022 campaign or opt to retire. He ended up signing a one-year deal to return to the Dodgers in March, telling reporters that he knew he was going to return if his elbow felt fine.

"Once I got healthy, it was no secret—I was either gonna go play in Texas or stay here." Kershaw said.

Kershaw has spent his entire 15-year career with the Dodgers, but at 34 years old and as injuries continuing to hamper him, there have been questions about his future beyond the 2022 season.

However, the three-time Cy Young winner has been solid when healthy. He has started 20 games this season, posting a 10-3 record with a 2.42 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 124 strikeouts in 115.1 innings.

Kershaw will also be a significant piece in the team's rotation during the postseason, anchoring a unit that includes Julio Urías, Tyler Anderson, Tony Gonsolin and Andrew Heaney.

The Dodgers already locked up the NL West crown and sit first in the division with a 106-47 record.

If the Kershaw does opt to retire this winter, he'll go down as one of the best pitchers to ever take the mound. In addition to winning three Cy Young awards, he has won the MVP award, the Triple Crown, a Gold Glove, five ERA titles and a World Series title.

In 399 games across 15 seasons, the left-hander has posted a 195-87 record with a 2.49 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 2,794 strikeouts across 2,570 innings.

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