Clayton Kershaw Rumors: Recovery From Shoulder Surgery Not ‘Deterring’ Rangers

Clayton Kershaw is a free agent for the third consecutive year, but unlike the previous two instances, he won’t be available to pitch at the start of the ensuing season.

The 35-year-old faces a prolonged recovery after undergoing surgery to repair the glenohumeral ligaments and capsule in his left shoulder. He expressed a desire to return around the midway point of next year, but still faces a lengthy rehab process that provides a lot of uncertainty to that.

It is believed that Kershaw will once again decide between re-signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers or joining his hometown Texas Rangers.

The Rangers already have a crowded injured list already as Jacob deGrom, Tyler Mahle and Max Scherzer are expected to miss the first half of the 2024 season, but that won’t stop them from potentially signing Kershaw, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:

The Rangers likely will be without three of their starting pitchers ― Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Tyler Mahle ― for at least the first half of the season. But that isn’t deterring them from continuing their pursuit of another accomplished starter recovering from injury, free-agent left-hander Clayton Kershaw.

The Rangers are coming off their first World Series title in franchise history and have plenty of pitching depth to withstand the absences of their injured starters. Signing with Texas would allow Kershaw to pitch closer to home and reunite him with several of his former Dodgers teammates.

On the flip side, Kershaw could return to the Dodgers and continue his Hall of Fame career with the only team he has known. Even after the additions of Tyler Glasnow and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, L.A. is said to want to add starting pitching depth.

Kershaw went 13-5 with a 2.46 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 24 starts this year. He missed six weeks due to an unspecified left shoulder injury that impacted his fastball velocity and command in the second half.

Kershaw ended the season with the worst start of his career in Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, when he allowed six runs and recorded just one out before being removed in the first inning.

What contract will Clayton Kershaw sign?

Kershaw re-signed with the Dodgers on a one-year contract in each of the past two offseasons, and will likely sign another one-year deal this time around due to his preference of taking things on a year-to-year basis.

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