The Los Angeles Dodgers have several key free agents this winter, but Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen stand out as unique.
Both players have spent the entirety of their respective careers thus far with the Dodgers. So too has fellow free agent Corey Seager, but it has been substantially longer for Jansen and Kershaw.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman admitted that factor could lead the team to having a different approach with Kershaw in free agency.
While the Dodgers are widely considered a favorite to re-sign Kershaw, there remains the possibility he could choose to return home and sign with the Texas Rangers. During an appareance on “High Heat,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward acknowledged the team has spoken to Kershaw and would understandably be pleased to sign him, via MLB Network:
“I know we’ve been in contact with him. Kersh and I are obviously really good friends and we believe in the same things as far as how to play the game and how to prepare. I’ve been honored to be around him for the three years I was in L.A. If he wants to come back to Texas, I’m pretty we’re going to welcome him there. It’s home for him and I know he’d love to take the kids to school and go pitch a game that night. It’s up to him.
“He’s had a tremendous legacy. I can’t speak enough about the man himself, after watching him for three years and being around him. It would be a tremendous asset for us, especially with a young rotation. We’ve got a ton of talent on the starting staff, but they’re all young. His leadership and guidance — honestly, he wouldn’t have to say a word. I would just ask those guys to watch him prepare and how he goes about his business. They would naturally get better.”
On top of the likely impending lockout once the collective bargaining agreement expires at 8:59 p.m. PT on Dec. 1, Kershaw making a decision in free agency isn’t considered imminent.
His desire to let the offseason unfold and healing process for a left flexor tendon injury continue were driving forces to the Dodgers not extending a qualifying offer to their longtime ace.
Dodgers ‘very optimistic’ with Kershaw
As the 33-year-old continues to mull over his options, Friedman recently said the team is confident in their ability to re-sign Kershaw if he decides to remain with the franchise.
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