It doesn't seem that the Dodgers needed to offer Kershaw much to get him to stay, as the pitcher stated "honestly, I wanted to stay here." The 30-year-old also feels that he needs to prove some critics wrong who claim that he is not as dominant as he once was. That could come from his struggles in the Postseason, which has been an issue for the former Cy Young winner his entire career. That includes a 4.32 ERA in 152 Postseason innings, as he only trails former Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield in differential between regular season and Postseason ERA.
The lefty could've opted out of his contract and Wednesday was the deadline for him to do that, but the two sides agreed to push that deadline to Friday afternoon. By then, the contract was agreed upon, this after Dodgers general manager Andrew Friedman encouraged that the negotiation process was going well on Thursday.
Kershaw returns to a rotation that will still feature Walker Buehler, Rich Hill, Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda, and Ross Stripling. The likes of Julio Urias and Hyun-Jin Ryu are still up in the air on what they will do this winter.
The long-time Dodger ace has three Cy Young Awards and an MVP to his credit, while making seven All-Star teams in his 11 seasons. Only 13 pitchers in history have a lower ERA in 2,000 innings than Kershaw, but none of those pitchers have played past 1927. A title has been one of the few things to elude Kershaw in his career, but the Dodgers are set to contend for years to come, so the opportunity should still be there.