The MLB lockout has left several top free agents unsigned, including former Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, and we will determine the three best fits for the left-hander once the lockout is finally over.
Below is a list of teams that could potentially sign the lefty.
Free-agent profile: Clayton Kershaw
– Entering age 34 season
– 3x Cy Young, 1x NL MVP
– Has spent entire 14-year career with LAD
Landing spots: #Dodgers #Rangers #RedSox #Mets pic.twitter.com/BLNJGlgacZ
— Sam F (@discussbaseball) February 24, 2022
3. Los Angeles Angels
Could the Dodgers’ crosstown rival swoop in and take a chance on the former Cy Young winner?
But they still are a piece or two away from being a true contender.
The Los Angeles Angels for years have prioritized offense over pitching depth, but if you add Kershaw next to Ohtani and Syndergaard, you could potentially have one of the best rotations in baseball.
The key for Kershaw, and Syndergaard for that matter, is to stay healthy.
If those two can stay healthy, then the Angels may finally have the contender they’ve been trying to build for years.
2. San Francisco Giants
This would really be sticking it to Dodger fans, but after the departure of Kevin Gausman, the San Francisco Giants need somebody to anchor the rotation.
Kershaw brings valuable experience and veteran leadership, and if you slot him into the rotation next to Logan Webb, you’ve got a rotation that can help you remain atop the division and potentially make a deep run into October.
Granted, a lot went right for the Giants in 2021, and on paper, the Dodgers are the better team.
But signing Kershaw would be a great way to get into their So-Cal rivals’ heads as we move closer to the 2022 season, which of course depends on when the lockout is over.
1. Texas Rangers
According to Chris Halicke of Sports Illustrated, the Texas Rangers have had Kershaw on their radar this offseason, and his former teammate, Corey Seager, has reached out to him about signing in Texas.
— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) November 23, 2021
The Rangers have shown the baseball world that they plan on being a clear contender in 2022 and signing Seager and Marcus Semien got them back in the playoff conversation.
They also signed Jon Gray to a four-year, $56 million deal to help shore up their rotation, but they need more.
Kershaw is from the Dallas area, so he’d essentially be coming home if he were to sign with the Rangers.
The Rangers are a young team with a ton of upside too and signing a guy like Kershaw would give them a veteran presence in the clubhouse as well as a bona-fide ace to lead the pitching staff.
Of course, as previously mentioned, health remains a key question mark for the left-hander, so that might make some teams hesitate a little.
But Kershaw knows how to win, and if Texas is in win-now mode, they should take a chance on the hometown kid.
Once the lockout is over, the stove will heat up like it never has before.
Players will be signing with teams left and right, and we’ll see whether or not Kershaw ends up signing with one of these three best fits.