Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Clayton Kershaw has spent 16 years at the Major League level, all with the Los Angeles Dodgers, while accomplishing nearly every possible achievement he could earn.
Kershaw is a three-time Cy Young winner with five ERA titles, he’s won a Gold Glove, Triple Crown, earned 10 All-Star Game selections, been named National League MVP and Player of the Year, and he topped it all off with a World Series in 2020.
Kershaw is a lock for the Hall of Fame if he retires today, or even a few years ago, but he now faces one of the most important offseason decisions to date.
That was further complicated in some regard by having surgery to repair the glenohumeral ligaments and capsule in his left shoulder, which comes with a significant rehab process that will force him to miss the start of the 2024 season.
While retirement was an option, Kershaw appears to be set on playing based on his Instagram post announcing the surgery, which said he’s hopeful to return at some point next summer.
However, Kershaw is a free agent, and some within the Dodgers organization felt the southpaw will not be part of the team come the 2024 season, via Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:
And while Kershaw has ultimately stayed in L.A. on one-year contracts each of the past years, there was a growing sentiment among some within the Dodgers organization this year that 2023 would be the pitcher’s last season with the team.
The Texas Rangers have recruited Kershaw in each of the previous two offseasons and were a realistic threat to sign the left-hander a year ago.
Kershaw’s former teammate Corey Seager has previously been active in recruiting him to Texas, and with the Rangers winning the 2023 World Series, their allure could be that much greater.
It’s believed that Kershaw will once again re-sign with Dodgers, head to the Rangers or decide to retire.
Walker Buehler: Clayton Kershaw deserves more appreciation
As Walker Buehler recovers from his own injury, he commended Kershaw for continuing to pitch while dealing with his shoulder trouble.
Kershaw suffered a decline in his velocity, command and overall stuff, but still managed to be effective in most of his starts.
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