Dodgers: Insights Into Clayton Kershaw’s Decision from Someone Who’s Been There

In discussing Clayton Kershaw, former Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser talks about some of the non-baseball factors that went into his free agency decisions.

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw is heading back into free agency, and just like last year, it seems that he has three options: come back to Los Angeles, sign with his hometown Rangers, or retire.

Over on SportsNetLA’s “Access: SportsNet,” former Dodger Orel Hershiser shed some light on what his thought process was when in a similar situation and stressed that we can’t really guess what factors might be going into the decision for Kershaw and his wife, Ellen.

“I really hope there’s going to be a 16th (season). I think it’s a coin flip. I know that when I went through my free agency, no one knew what I was processing — not even my representative did I tell where I was gonna go.

“One time I knew I was going to the American League. I had National League offers but I kept the competition going and I knew I wanted to go to the American League to become a better post-baseball person. And then another free agency I was talking to my wife about what do we want to expose our kids to. So we ended up in New York and exposing them to the city and that kind of life.

“So it’s very interesting that we’re going to try and predict what he and his family are going to decide? It’s almost impossible. But I think that are lots of heart strings being pulled at him to stay in Los Angeles.”

It’s easy to forget that professional ballplayers, for all their fame and fortune, are real people with real feelings and preferences. We can guess what we think Clayton and Ellen will want for their family, or what we think we would want if we were in their shoes. But at the end of the day, we don’t really know them and don’t totally understand what might be most important to them.

Andrew Friedman said on Tuesday that he hopes Kershaw will be back in L.A. next year. That’s about all Friedman or any of us can do at this point — hope.

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