They’re the 2 longest-tenured gamers in the Dodgers group.
However as Main League Baseball’s offseason started in earnest Tuesday, kicking off with the league’s normal supervisor conferences, the futures of Clayton Kershaw and Justin Turner remained doubtful.
Kershaw is a free agent for the second straight winter and seems as soon as once more more likely to decide between a return to the Dodgers — who’ve till Thursday to resolve whether or not to increase him a qualifying provide — or a homecoming with the Texas Rangers.
Turner, in the meantime, has a membership choice with the Dodgers value $16 million for subsequent season. The workforce has till Thursday to resolve whether or not to choose it up, though the Dodgers additionally might discover the opportunity of shopping for out Turner’s present deal (which might value $2 million) and re-signing him at a lesser wage.
The one factor Andrew Friedman, the workforce’s president of baseball operations, made clear whereas speaking to reporters Tuesday: The Dodgers hope each are again with the workforce subsequent season — even when it’s presently unclear precisely how, or when, their conditions can be resolved.
“It is a priority for him to come back,” Friedman mentioned of Kershaw, “and we’ll figure that out.”
“The priority is that we show up in Glendale [Ariz.] and for him to be a part of what we’re doing next year,” Friedman mentioned about Turner. “What exactly that looks like, we need time to work through.”
With Kershaw, the Dodgers confronted related circumstances final November.
The possible future Corridor of Famer was a free agent for the primary time. He supposed to proceed his adorned profession however wasn’t prepared to decide on between the Dodgers (his solely main league workforce) and the Rangers (who play proper down the highway from his and spouse Ellen’s offseason house in Dallas). And he took many of the lockout-impacted offseason to reach at a call.
The Dodgers determined in opposition to extending a qualifying provide to Kershaw final winter as a courtesy to the pitcher, giving him extra time to ponder his future regardless that it meant they risked dropping him with out getting any draft compensation in return.
On Tuesday, Friedman mentioned the workforce hadn’t determined a few qualifying provide this 12 months — which might give Kershaw till Nov. 20 to both settle for or decline a one-year, $19.65-million contract — however hinted that the calculus would possible be the identical.
“Things just feel more right in the world when Kershaw is wearing a Dodgers uniform,” Friedman mentioned. “That’s just how it lands with us. We couldn’t respect more him and Ellen going through this process. But it’s definitely a real priority for us [to have him back].”
The Rangers, nevertheless, loom as a menace.
They’d permit Kershaw, his spouse and their 4 kids to not have to separate the 12 months residing between Los Angeles and Texas.
Their normal supervisor is Chris Younger, one in all Kershaw’s closest buddies in baseball.
And Kershaw was so near signing with the Rangers final 12 months that, when he in the end did decide the Dodgers after the tip of the lockout, he referred to as Younger to inform him the information.
“I was broken-hearted,” the Rangers’ GM recalled Tuesday.
And the way exhausting will Texas pursue Kershaw this winter?
“I can’t answer specifically,” Younger mentioned, noting that MLB continues to be technically in a free-agent quiet interval. “But certainly, he’s a tremendous player. I think all 30 teams would love to have Clayton Kershaw.”
Turner represents one other massive resolution for the Dodgers.
The third baseman can be 38 subsequent season and is coming off a 2022 season during which his numbers had been above league common however under his lofty profession norms.
If that makes his $16-million choice too hefty for the Dodgers to really feel snug selecting up, the workforce might nonetheless pay his buyout and as an alternative attempt to signal him to a brand new deal. Nevertheless, that may additionally permit the two-time All-Star to check the free-agent market and doubtlessly signal with a unique workforce.
“It’d be great to end my career as a Dodger,” Turner informed AM 570 final week. “But things don’t always go as planned. We don’t know what’s going to happen.”
The subsequent few days ought to present extra readability for each gamers’ destiny — and sign whether or not two of the Dodgers’ largest faces of the franchise will return to Los Angeles in 2023.
The Dodgers did announce Tuesday that they’ve declined their membership choices for infielder Hanser Alberto and pitchers Jimmy Nelson and Danny Duffy, making all three free brokers.
The strikes didn’t come as a shock. Alberto was a constructive presence within the workforce’s clubhouse this season however was left off its playoff roster after batting simply .244 in 73 video games. Nelson and Duffy each missed the season due to accidents.
The Dodgers claimed outfielder Luke Williams off waivers from the Miami Marlins. A former third-round pick of Dana Hills Excessive, the 26-year-old Williams has a profession .240 batting common in 137 video games with the Marlins, San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies.