Making the case for why the Texas Rangers should sign Clayton Kershaw

While Texas scans the free agent market to add more depth to the rotation I think we should examine why Texas should sign a pitcher that will not pitch till July.

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Would it be smart to sign Clayton Kershaw?

This question is not as easy to answer as it would appear. Kershaw did recently have shoulder surgery and will be out till at least mid-season. He has just been signing one-year contracts lately and so Texas might be signing him for just 10 starts. Texas already has three other pitchers in Max Scherzer, Tyler Mahle, and Jacob deGrom who will not be back till midseason now. Would it make sense to add Kershaw to that list of injured pitchers?

One thing to remember about Kershaw is that when he pitches he is still very good. He is still among the best pitchers in all of baseball when healthy. Kershaw in 2023 had a 13-5 record with a 2.46 ERA in 24 starts. His ERA+ was 177. If Kershaw was on Texas' staff in 2023 he would have been Texas' best starting pitcher and it would not have been particularly close. The only two pitchers close to Kershaw in ERA+ were Scherzer at 140 and deGrom at 169. Those were in much fewer starts. If Kershaw can recover physically then the stuff is still there and he would vastly improve the rotation. He would be ready in time to help Texas make a push to the playoffs and maybe a second World Series.

The second reason to add Kershaw is the mentorship he can provide to young pitchers such as Jack Leiter, Owen White, Cody Bradford, and Zak Kent. He can show them what it takes to be a major league pitcher. He can be there to answer questions and give them advice during spring that could help them take that next step once the regular season starts. Those are four pitchers that Texas will be needing this season and in the future. Kershaw's expertise and wisdom built up through a long career will only help this pitching staff even if the left-hander is only able to pitch half a season.