Pitcher Clayton Kershaw set to return to LA Dodgers in 2024

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Pitcher Clayton Kershaw set to return to LA Dodgers in 2024
Clayton Kershaw on the LA bench
Clayton Kershaw on the LA bench
Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports
The Dodgers and left-hander Clayton Kershaw (35) have agreed to a contract that will return the franchise icon to Los Angeles for a 17th season, according to multiple media reports Tuesday.

No terms were reported.

Kershaw, who turns 36 next month, will not be ready to pitch at the start of the season. He underwent surgery Nov. 3 on his throwing shoulder and posted on Instagram following the procedure that he was "hopeful to return to play at some point next summer."

Whenever he returns from the rehab process, Kershaw will be part of a drastically different pitching staff.

Los Angeles signed right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto, a star in Japan, to a 12-year contract, traded for Tampa Bay Rays ace Tyler Glasnow and signed veteran left-hander James Paxton to a one-year deal.

Youngsters Bobby Miller and Emmet Sheehan are expected to start the season in the rotation. Walker Buehler, who underwent a second Tommy John surgery in August 2022 and missed all of 2023, will not be ready to start the season with the team. Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May are also recovering from elbow procedures, and prized two-way signee Shohei Ohtani will not pitch in 2024 following elbow surgery.

Kershaw posted a 13-5 record with a 2.46 ERA in 24 starts this past season, but he dealt with diminished velocity after returning from midseason shoulder discomfort.

Kershaw owns a 210-92 record with a 2.48 ERA in 425 career appearances (422 starts) with the Dodgers. He is a 10-time All-Star and a three-time National League Cy Young Award winner, including in 2014, when he was named the league's MVP.

Fueling his return likely is a desire to wipe out the memory of his most recent appearance in a Dodgers uniform -- a disastrous outing in Game 1 of the National League Division Series, when he allowed the Arizona Diamondbacks to score six runs and recorded just one out.

"The competitor in me doesn't want it to end the way it did. I want to win. I want to win another World Series," said Kershaw, a member of the Dodgers' 2020 world championship team, told a Los Angeles radio station in December. "I'm excited to get back after this surgery, to throw a ball and have it not hurt. I'm excited for that."

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