There’s been an unofficial, unspoken truth the last two offseasons as Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw has hit free agency and mulled over his future. Well, finally, that truth is no longer unofficial or unspoken.
The other team, of course, is the Texas Rangers, the team Kershaw grew up rooting for and that plays near his home in the Dallas area. After the 2021 and 2022 seasons, Kershaw has hit free agency and been wooed by the Rangers, but both times, he chose to stick with the only organization he’s ever known, the one that drafted him in the first round of the 2006 draft.
Kershaw is complimentary of the Rangers, of course.
Texas really has made a push lately. Last year, they signed Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and other free agents in a huge spending spree that didn’t end up going the way they had hoped, costing manager Chris Woodward and team president Jon Daniels their jobs. But they’re right back at it this offseason, signing free-agent pitchers Jacob deGrom and Andrew Heaney.
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Let’s hope it never actually comes to Kershaw playing in Texas. He should be a Dodger as long as he’s playing, and when he’s ready to be closer to home, he can retire and start the five-year clock for his first-ballot Hall of Fame induction.
It feels like Kershaw is on the same page as us on this, but things can change quickly. Hopefully, with his 16th season in Dodger blue next year, he’ll realize how special it is to play your whole career with one team and how close he is to accomplishing that.