For the second straight offseason, Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers are technically separate, as Kershaw explores his options in free agency. Last year, the Rangers wooed Kershaw but ultimately the future Hall of Famer chose to come back to the only franchise he’s ever played for.
The Rangers figure to pursue the native Texan pretty strongly again this offseason, but Dodgers president of baseball operations says bringing Kershaw back is a top priority for the team.
"Things just feel more right in the world when Kershaw is wearing a #Dodgers uniform. That’s just how it lands with us, but couldn’t respect more him and Ellen going through this process. But it’s definitely a real priority for us and hopeful he will be with us in Glendale.” 3/x
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) November 9, 2022
Even just from a practical standpoint, the Dodgers have some question marks in their starting rotation, with Kershaw, Tyler Anderson, and Andrew Heaney all hitting free agency this week. Julio Urias is a mainstay, Tony Gonsolin will be there if he’s fully healthy, and Dustin May will be there if he can find his command and consistency as he fights his way back from Tommy John surgery. The veteran leadership of Kershaw — who, oh yeah, by the way, is still really good — would be huge for the team even with the assumption that he won’t be able to give them 33 starts.
Then you get into the emotional side if things, where Kershaw has a chance to spend his entire Hall of Fame career with the Dodgers. He’s the franchise leader in career strikeouts and could get to 200 wins and 3,000 strikeouts with another year or two in L.A. Clayton Kershaw is the Dodgers, and it would be wrong for him to wear any other uniform.
That’s why Friedman says “things just feel more right” when Kershaw is a Dodger.
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