Clayton Kershaw Rumors: Rangers Signing ‘Very Much In Play’

Clayton Kershaw is once again a free agent, but this time around he is undergoing a different set of circumstances on the open market as he recovers from left shoulder surgery.

Despite speculation he might retire due to the surgery, Kershaw has stated his commitment to returning to the field multiple times. During a recent interview, Kershaw expressed his excitement to get back on a mound and throw pain-free, with an expected return of around the second half of the 2024 season.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are hopeful to keep Kershaw in the fold as one of their franchise legends who is still an effective starter when healthy, but returning home to the Texas Rangers also remains an option.

The Rangers recently signed Tyler Mahle, who will miss about half the season, and Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom are also recovering from injuries with hopes of returning in the second half. Despite all the injuries pitchers they have and the need for healthy arms, the Rangers still view signing Kershaw as a possibility, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:

Mahle underwent Tommy John surgery in May and likely will be out until at least mid-season. Kershaw is on a similar timetable coming off surgery to repair the glenohumeral ligaments and capsule in his left shoulder. But a source briefed on the Rangers’ thinking described him as still “very much” in play.

Kershaw has been taking one-year deals for the previous two seasons because he wants to it to be a year-by-year process to decide on his next move, whether that is staying with the Dodgers, joining the Rangers, or retiring. The Dodgers and Rangers are the only two teams he has considered in that stretch.

The Dodgers present Kershaw the best opportunity to win the World Series as perennial contenders that just signed Shohei Ohtani and reportedly acquired Tyler Glasnow. They also give Kershaw the chance to continue cementing himself as a franchise icon before entering the Hall of Fame as a one-team player.

The Rangers, of course, just won the World Series in 2023 and give Kershaw the opportunity to play near his home and live with his family. They are likely going to be contenders once again, but they face more uncertainty with their roster and winning in back-to-back seasons is notoriously difficult.

What surgery did Clayton Kershaw have?

Kershaw’s surgery was performed by Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache to repair the glenohumeral ligaments and capsule. The purpose of the glenohumeral ligaments is to provide strength and stability in the shoulder.

The injury caused Kershaw to miss six weeks during the 2023 season and impacted his performance upon returning, but he still posted a 2.46 ERA and 1.06 WHIP.

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