One of the biggest rumors of this offseason for the Texas Rangers is the pursuit of a hometown boy. Clayton Kershaw has a chance to come home, he is from Dallas, and finish his career where he rightly belongs.
Here is a deep dive into Clayton Kershaw, the player.
- Age: 33
- Drafted by LA Dodgers, 2006, Round 1, #7 Overall
- MLB Years Active : 14
- Record: 185-84
- IP: 2454.2
- H: 1859
- ER: 679
- BB: 606
- SO: 2670
- ERA: 2.49
Why is Clayton Kershaw available to the Texas Rangers?
After being drafted in 2006, moving rapidly through the Dodgers minor leagues, and playing 14 years for the Dodgers, the Dodgers declined to extend a qualifying offer to Kershaw.
Kershaw’s most recent contract was signed prior to the 2019 season. The contract was a 3-year deal for $93M or an average of $31M per year.
Why did the Dodgers not want to re-sign Kershaw?
It’s difficult to say to exact reason but, there is speculation that his left forearm inflammation injury that placed him on the 60-day injury list in August is more serious than first anticipated.
In September, Kershaw made one rehab start for Oklahoma City (AAA) where he pitched three innings and gave up four hits and two runs.
He was recalled and made three starts in September and one in October before being placed on the 10-day injury list with left forearm discomfort.
Kershaw elected free agency on November 3rd.
Why would the Texas Rangers want Kershaw?
Not only is Kershaw local but, if he is healthy, he could be the ace starter that the Rangers have been looking for. His career stats made he a likely candidate for the HOF.
The situation reminds me of a time when the Rangers signed another Texan, Nolan Ryan, back in 1989. Ryan was 42 at the time and continued to pitch successfully for the Rangers for parts of five seasons.
With Kershaw being 34 on Opening Day, the Rangers could have a long relationships with the star southpaw leading into his retirement.
What would it take to sign Him?
This is a difficult question to answer because we don’t know the extent of the forearm injury.
According to mlb.com/Astros, Houston has offered a two-year $22M deal to Kershaw.
If Kershaw is healthy, he would likely want at least $31M per year on a three-year contract. Would the Rangers be willing to sign this deal? Absolutely, if he is healthy. Kershaw would need to pass a physical. If he is NOT healthy, Texas could still sign him to a one-year incentive-laden deal with a club option for a second year.
What is the likelihood of the Texas Rangers landing Kershaw?
According to the following tweet, the Dodgers would like to work something out with Kershaw, just not at Kershaw’s asking price.
The Rangers are in the driver’s seat, they have money and a willingness to add a local ace to a young pitching staff.
According to Baseball-Reference.com, Kershaw has earned over $257M during his 14 year career. Maybe money isn’t everything. It is my gut feeling that Kershaw either returns to the Dodgers, probably his first choice, or he signs with his hometown team and finishes his career as a Ranger.