16-year-old boy joining → Now left-handed ace… Will the Dodgers follow Kershaw’s path for 11 years?
What makes Clayton Kershaw (35) special to Los Angeles Dodgers and Dodgers fans isn’t just because he was the team’s ace and was once the best pitcher on the planet. He was drafted by the Dodgers and played only in a Dodgers uniform for 17 years. The word franchise star fits perfectly, and it is the pride of the fans.
Kershaw, who received the Dodgers’ first-round (7th overall) selection in 2006, made his major league debut in 2008 and won 21 wins in 2011, winning the first Cy Young Award in his career. In 2013, he achieved his second Cy video, and in 2014, he achieved the great feat of winning the long-awaited Most Valuable Player (MVP) – Cy video at the same time. It is a time that is remembered as Kershaw’s heyday.
In Kershaw’s heyday, there was a boy who came to America with a dream of success. That is Julio Urias (27). Born in Mexico, Urias, who attracted attention with his outstanding talent from a young age, signed an amateur free agent contract with the Dodgers in August 2012, when Kershaw’s majesty continued. He was 16 years old.
As he progressed through the minor leagues, he was praised for being the Dodgers’ best pitching prospect. He was a top prospect at any level, and that didn’t vary much across the 30 major league clubs. Urias made his major league debut in 2016 at the age of 20 under the close supervision of the Dodgers. Many pointed to Urias as the next-generation ace to succeed Kershaw.
There was a shoulder injury and a career crisis, but Urias overcame it. He returned to full-time starting in 2020. In 2021, he won the title for the second consecutive year with a 20-3 ERA of 2.96 (first in most wins in the National League) and last year with a 17-7 ERA of 2.16 (first in the National League). Last year, he had his best year, finishing 3rd in the Cy Young Award voting and 14th in the MVP voting.
Although he raised concerns at the beginning of the season with an incomprehensible decrease in speed, he soon returned to the normal track and supported the Dodgers starting rotation without Trevor Bauer (disciplinary) and Walker Buehler (injury). Since he made his debut at such a young age, his FA qualification is also very soon. Urias will be eligible for free agency after the 2023 season. His skills have been verified, and he is young. He satisfies all the conditions of the maximum fish.
As it is one of the largest fish in the market, it is expected that a long-term contract of more than 6 years will be okay. What is of interest is how the Dodgers will move. There is no guarantee that Urias will be caught once he enters the FA market. If so, he should sign a contract at some point this year. If he signs a long-term contract with the Dodgers this year or in the free agency market, the road to the franchise opens like Kershaw did. The Dodgers remember Kershaw keeping him by signing two contract extensions before he became a free agent. 안전놀이터
Since the appointment of Andrew Friedman as president, the Dodgers have maintained the team’s player base by acquiring stars through trades or contract extensions with internal resources rather than catching big fish in the free agent market. In the Dodgers, key players who are currently supporting the team, such as Will Smith and Walker Buehler, are coming out as free agents in a row behind Urias. How you approach the Urias contract has another meaning in that you can get a glimpse of the Dodgers’ strategy in the future.