It seems almost criminal to discuss the possibility of Clayton Kershaw playing for any team besides the Dodgers, yet here we are.
After multiple links to his home state Texas Rangers over the past few seasons, the rumors may finally have some merit to them. In an interview on MLB Network with former Dodgers anchor Alanna Rizzo, Rangers manager Chris Woodward addressed the possibility of signing the veteran lefty.
I know we’ve been in contact with him”, said Chris Woodward. “Kershaw and I are obviously good friends, and we believe the same things as far as how to play the game, how to prepare. I’ve been honored to be around him for the three years I was in LA. If he wants to come back to Texas, I’m pretty sure we’ll welcome him there.”
It’s no secret that Texas is Kershaw’s offseason home, and the lure of being able to be close to his family year-round could potentially be enough to sway his decision this winter. Woodward is counting on that home appeal to benefit them in potential negotiations.
“It’s home for him. I know he’d love to take his kids to school and go pitch a game that night. But it’s up to him. He’s had a tremendous legacy. I can’t speak enough just about the man himself after watching him for three years and just being around him.
Chris Woodward has history with Clayton, as he was the Dodgers’ third base coach for the 2016 – 2018 seasons. In that time, the two were consistently seen chatting and sharing their love of the game. This connection is part of the reason that Woodward wants Kershaw on his team once again, as he knows the respect and dedication that Clayton has for the sport.
It’d be a tremendous asset for us, especially with a young rotation. We’ve got a lot of talent on that starting staff, but they’re all young. His leadership, his guidance.. and honestly, he wouldn’t have to say a word. I would just ask those guys to watch him – watch him prepare and watch how he goes about his business, and they’re going to naturally get better.
Dodgers Rumors: Rangers in Contact With Clayton Kershaw About Signing Him, Will LA Get Kersh Back?
This is the first offseason where it at least feels like a possibility, albeit it a small one, that Kershaw could potentially be playing in a different uniform. With the elusive World Series ring now in his possession, the aging Kershaw could definitely explore a situation that would keep him closer to his Texas home. Given the way 2021 ended, however, he could very well return to take care of unfinished business.