Texas Rangers lose out on signing a future Hall-of-Famer

The yearly chase for Chris Young and the Rangers for Clayton Kershaw has come to an end once again with Kershaw choosing a return over coming home.
Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers
Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

The offseason is starting to wrap up as teams are preparing to ship off to spring training in a little over a week. Texas still had two primary free agent targets still on the market as of Tuesday morning: Clayton Kershaw and Jordan Montgomery. Kershaw removed his name from the free agent market when he agreed to resign with the Los Angeles Dodgers for his 17th season all in Dodger blue.

Texas had been rumored as a destination for Kershaw based upon their World Series title, how the season ended for the Dodgers, and the face Kershaw makes his offseason home in the Dallas area. In the end he chose to stay with the Dodgers rather than come home and play for the Rangers. Why the delay for Kershaw in signing and why did he choose LA?

The reason for the delayed signing for Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw hung out on the free agent market longer than he ever had. There was likely a reason behind this. The left-hander is going to miss the first half of the season at least due to shoulder surgery he underwent after the season. If Kershaw had signed earlier a 40-man roster move would have been required. That would have forced LA to release someone to make room for Kershaw.

Kershaw was doing a favor for LA in waiting. The Dodgers are beginning their season early this year with a two-game series against the Padres in Seoul, South Korea on March 20th and 21st. Camp for these two teams is opening early with Dodgers' pitchers and catchers reporting on Friday, February 9th. Camp opening will allow Kershaw to sign and then be immediately placed on the 60-day IL. That would allow Kershaw to sign and not have to be placed on the 40-man roster and the Dodgers will then not have to release anyone.

Why did Kershaw choose the Dodgers?

I do think Kershaw is honest when he says the two teams he would only consider playing for is Texas and LA. I think the ship has sailed on him ever suiting up in a Texas Rangers uniform. Kershaw is going to ride it out with the Dodgers and be the rare player who plays his entire career with one organization. When he retires he will join the ranks of Dodger greats such as Sandy Koufax and Jackie Robinson who spent their entire careers in Dodgers' blue.

Kershaw would be welcomed with open arms in Texas and the fans would love to see Kershaw pitching for his hometown team. He deserves to go out on his terms and it appears the Dodgers front office is willing to continue to play this year to year. I will always wonder what it would have been like to see Kershaw, Scherzer, and deGrom in the same rotation. Maybe we will see these three legendary pitchers in the World Series this October. It would be a memorable matchup featuring those three pitchers, former Dodger Corey Seager, new Dodger Shohei Ohtani, and Mookie Betts. It would be a star-studded World Series and maybe the closest Texas Rangers fans will get to seeing Clayton Kershaw pitching for the Texas Rangers.

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