With Clayton Kershaw’s future in a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform up in the air, could this offseason be the ideal time for him to return to his Dallas roots and join up with the Texas Rangers?
The Texas Rangers and Clayton Kershaw could be a match this offseason
The Texas Rangers have certainly been exploring the possibility, with Texas manager Chris Woodward saying on MLB Network that the team has “been in contact” with Kershaw, the three-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time All-Star who was also born in Dallas and played at Highland Park High School in the Dallas area.
After 14 seasons in a Dodgers uniform, Kershaw is a free agent for the first time in this career. He is also coming off a season where made just 22 starts and had his season cut short by elbow and arm issues. With Noah Syndergaard and Justin Verlander coming off injuries and signing deals with average annual values of more than $21 million, it’s certainly possible for Kershaw to reach those kind of numbers as well. In fact, MLBTradeRumors.com predicts Kershaw signing a one-year deal valued at $20 million, with two of the three writers predicting that deal will come with Texas.
A high-priced contract to obtain Kershaw won’t be a problem for the Rangers, a team that, as Ken Rosenthal points out in this article (subscription required) has less than $51 million currently committed to its 2022 payroll. It’s also a team that could use not only quality starting pitching, but also veteran leadership in the clubhouse as well. Kershaw could, in theory, check both those boxes.
Not only does Kershaw have Dallas roots, but he and Woodward also have a connection as Woodward was the third-base and infield coach with the Dodgers for three seasons before taking over as the Texas manager.
It will likely come down as a battle between the Dodgers and Rangers to have Kershaw on the mound in 2022. Either way, the 33-year-old southpaw says he will be ready to go by spring training.