Clayton Kershaw has spent his entire MLB career with the Los Angeles Dodgers thus far, but that could change this winter.
The lefty is now a free agent.
It’s tough to imagine Kershaw wearing anything other than a Dodgers uniform, but that’s a possibility in 2022.
Where might the future Hall of Famer land this offseason?
Let’s look at a few options.
3. Los Angeles Angels
Would Kershaw even think about the idea of staying in California and singing with the Los Angeles Angels?
Only he can answer that.
But on paper, it makes sense.
The Angels are seemingly trying to contend, and the rotation needs to be a priority for the team this offseason.
L.A.’s starters posted a miserable 4.78 ERA in 2021.
That’s not going to get the job done.
Adding Kershaw to the mix would make things very interesting, however.
The southpaw remains a quality option despite the fact that he might be slowly regressing.
In 2021, he pitched to a 3.55 ERA over 22 starts.
Clayton Kershaw, Cooperstown Curveball…and Sword. 👑⚔️ pic.twitter.com/Zy2QgutSJH
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 28, 2021
He dealt with injury issues along the way but did his best to battle through them.
2. Texas Rangers
There has been a lot of buzz about the possibility of Kershaw signing with the Texas Rangers.
The 33-year-old grew up in Texas, and a homecoming would be a cool story.
However, the Rangers aren’t exactly ready to contend right now, and it’s worth considering whether or not that’s a dealbreaker for Kershaw.
He already has a World Series title under his belt, so he has nothing to prove in that regard, but does he want to spend the next (and possibly last) stage of his career with a rebuilding team?
If not, no one can blame him.
It’ll be interesting to see if this ends up becoming a factor in his decision.
Of course, most Dodgers fans want to see Kershaw return to the team.
It’s a real possibility, but it remains to be seen if it will happen.
Back in February, Kershaw was noncommittal when asked about the idea of re-signing with L.A.
“I don’t know,” he said. “Honestly, I wish I had an answer.”
Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman recently spoke about the topic and admitted that the organization will treat Kershaw uniquely as a free agent given his legendary status as a Dodger.
Asked #Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman if they'll treat Clayton Kershaw different than some other impending free agents in the past given what he means to the organization. His answer: pic.twitter.com/FASG7SEap4
— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) October 27, 2021
One way of interpreting that is to think that the ball is essentially in Kershaw’s court.
It seems like maybe L.A. will accommodate for him (within reason) if he wants to return.
No matter how Kershaw’s free agency plays out, he has earned the right to pick his next chapter.
No one can ever question his legacy.
The former first-round pick has earned eight All-Star selections, five ERA titles, three Cy Young awards, an MVP award, and of course, a World Series title.
In addition to leading the league in ERA five times, he has led the league in wins three times, strikeouts three times, ERA+ four times, FIP twice, and WHIP four times.
What more do you need to see?
This guy is a baseball legend, and no matter where he plays next season, it’ll be worth tuning in for.