With 99 days of dead air out of the way, the hot stove rumors are quickly starting to heat up. For the Dodgers, several key free agents remain on the open market as it restarts. Simply put, none of them have a greater history in blue than Clayton Kershaw.
Over the offseason, the rumors involving the future hall of famer have him returning to LA or potentially signing with his hometown Texas Rangers. On Friday, ESPN’s Buster Olney fueled the speculation that the ace would be returning to LA with an afternoon tweet.
There is heavy industry expectation that Clayton Kershaw will return to the Dodgers for the 2022 season.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) March 11, 2022
Earlier in the day, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed that he hasn’t had a chance to catch up with Kershaw just yet, noting that it would be “very strange” to open camp at Camelback Ranch without the left-hander in the clubhouse.
The Dodgers have left the door wide open for number 22’s return since last October when president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman, said that he wanted the pitcher and his family to take their time to consider what’s best for their future while adding that the club has made it very clear that “if Kersh wants to come back, he will always have a spot with what he’s meant to this organization — not just looking back but with what we think he can do for us [this] year.”
He's not what he used to be, but the Dodgers better do everything in their power to make sure this man never puts on another teams uniform. #ClaytonKershaw
— Doug McKain (@DMAC_LA) March 10, 2022
Importantly, the last time we saw Kershaw in a Dodger uniform, he was walking off the mound with a trainer by his side after aggravating a forearm injury that cost him most of the end of the season. He avoided surgery at the time, but there’s really no telling how his balky elbow will hold up.
Despite the lack of communication, Roberts shared where he feels Clayton is at in his recovery, telling media that, “knowing Clayton, he is preparing for April or 7th or 8th … knowing him, he’s ready to pitch for a ballclub.”
After the Giants scooped up free agent pitcher Carlos Rodon on Friday, Kershaw became the best starting pitcher left on the hot stove hands down.
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