Texas Rangers Free Agent Debate: Clayton Kershaw vs. Carlos Rodon

Sep 29, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (55) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 29, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (55) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Texas Rangers Clayton Kershaw
Oct 1, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws against the Milwaukee Brewers during the first inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Texas Rangers Free Agent Debate: Clayton Kershaw

8x All-Star. 3x Cy Young winner. 5x ERA titles. A Triple Crown, MVP, Gold Glove and MLB Player of the Year, not to mention the long deserved World Series ring.

The Hall of Fame is begging Clayton Kershaw to retire, but the Dallas-native isn’t quite ready to hang up his spikes yet.

The 33-year old Kershaw is a free agent for the first time in his 14-year big league career, a day many fans never would have dreamed of.

He was supposed to be a one-team wonder, like Chipper Jones, but could be on his way out the stadium gates of Chavez Ravine.

What better place to end up than home, right?

Not to mention, he’s got an old friend doing some recruiting for the Texas Rangers. Isn’t that right Texas Rangers shortstop Corey Seager? (Man, that sounds good.)

Let’s make a case for Kershaw to come back home and help our buddy Corey Seager out, shall we?

Looking at Kershaw’s 2021 season, he was good. Real good, when healthy.

Kersh went 10-8 with a 3.55 ERA over 22 starts. He punched out 144 batters, only walking 21, and held opposing batters to a .224 average.

That’s very good, much better than anything the Rangers had in their rotation last season.

While it’s not the absolutely dominant Clayton Kershaw we all know, that is a very serviceable player on a young, up and. coming team.

In 2021, Kershaw still was way better than the league averages in opponent’s batting average, OBP, SLG, BB%, and fly ball percentage.

The thing with having Kershaw in the rotation is his intangibles, the things you can’t see on the television or in the stands.

He is a veteran clubhouse leader, an ace among boys and a guy that truly knows what a winning ballclub looks like. He and Seager bring invaluable postseason experience and success that this young team has never seen.

What’s not to love about a guy with his pedigree and has some hometown swagger to him?

Much like Rodon, the Dodgers were leary of offering him a qualifying offer this offseason as he nursed an elbow injury that kept him out of the postseason for the Dodgers.

However, with the extended lockout, he should have plenty of time to heal up and get ready for the 2022 season.

This deal is getting sweeter and sweeter for the Texas Rangers, ain’t it?

No draft pick, a Texas-native and an ace that the Rangers haven’t had since Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish and Cliff Lee.

But, what would it take to bring Clayton Kershaw back home?

MLB Trade Rumors says Kershaw will sign a one year, $20 million dollar deal. Two writers suggest the Rangers, one suggests the Phillies (not going to happen).

As it stands now, Clayton Kershaw has to decide what he values more. Whether that’s continuing his Dodgers legacy, coming home to pitch in his own backyard or spending time with his family, helping pick the kids up from school.

If he wants to pitch, it’s between the Dodgers and Rangers. No duh, Tyler, we all know that.

My only other concern, other than his injuries, is how seriously is he considering retirement. He turns 34 in May, just had another child and has fulfilled what he set out to do as a baseball player in winning a World Series title.

If he retired today, he’s a no-doubt Hall of Famer. If he doesn’t, by all means, lets rack up those stats.

Will last season’s flexor strain force his left hand into retirement? That’s yet to be seen, but if he does want to pitch, there will always be a spot in the Rangers rotation for him.

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