Despite uncertainty over Clayton Kershaw's future with the Dodgers, he has no plans to retire after the 2021 season.
Speculation over his possible retirement swirled after Kershaw revealed in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times that he hadn't discussed an extension with the Dodgers and said he didn't know if he wanted one. Kershaw will be a free agent after this season.
"I'm on a year-to-year basis," he told reporters on Sunday, per ESPN. "I wanna reevaluate at the end of every year and see how we're doing–as a family, myself personally, where we are as a team–and then just make a decision from there. I have no intentions of hanging them up. I'm only 32. I feel like I have more years left in the tank.
"If you ask me right now, I really still love playing, I feel healthy right now, I feel like the ball's coming out good. I'm excited for this year, and that's really all I meant [by his answer in the Times profile]. I'm focused on this year and trying to win a World Series, and then after this year, we'll figure things out."
Kershaw dominated in the shortened 2020 campaign, finishing the regular season with a 2.16 ERA, 62 strikeouts and eight walks in 58.1 innings. He and the Dodgers snapped the club's 32-year World Series drought last October by beating the Rays in six games.
Kershaw, 32, is entering the final season of a three-year, $93 million extension that he signed shortly after the 2018 campaign.
The Dodgers will exceed the luxury-tax threshold this year by at least $40 million and have other high-priced players like Trevor Bauer and Mookie Betts currently on the payroll. With Corey Seager also nearing free agency, the team could face similar payroll issues again next season if they look to re-sign Kershaw.
For now, Kershaw no longer carries the burden of not being a World Series champion and looks forward to enjoying another season with his club.
"I love being here," he said. "I love the Dodgers, I love everything about this organization. I just feel really fortunate that I've gotten to have as many opportunities as I've had to win a World Series, and now that we finally won one, you just don't take that for granted. I really have enjoyed my time here and continue to do so."