Prior to MLB team owners imposing a lockout in December, there was a flurry of activity in free agency. Several notable players came off the board, but Clayton Kershaw was not among the group.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner is taking a deliberate approach and certainly will have his family in mind when choosing his next team. The consensus remains that he will ultimately decide between re-signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, joining his hometown Texas Rangers, or possibly retiring.
Despite this, the New York Mets have been rumored as a potential landing spot for Kershaw. The team has already signed Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha for a combined total value of more than $250 million this offseason.
Kershaw would give the Mets one of the best starting rotations on paper, but the prospect of him pitching in Queens appears to be more speculation at this point. According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Mets did not have any contact the left-hander before the lockout began:
We just decided to check out whether this was a possibility. So we asked a person who would definitely know if there had been any contact between Kershaw’s camp and the Mets before the MLB lockout began on Dec. 1.
“None,” was the answer.
Kershaw is coming off an effective, albeit injury-shortened 2021 season that saw him go 10-8 with a 3.55 ERA, 3.00 FIP and 1.02 WHIP over 121.2 innings pitched.
The 33-year-old was unable to pitch in the postseason due to another bout with left forearm inflammation, but an MRI ruled out any damage to his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL).
Kershaw addressed the injury with a a platelet-rich plasma injection (PRP) injection prior to the National League Division Series and expressed confidence that along with time off would remedy the issue.
Because he was not extended the qualifying offer, any team that signs Kershaw will not be required to forfeit a pick in the 2022 MLB Draft.
Friedman believes Kershaw will be ‘ready to go’ on Opening Day
It remains to be seen if Kershaw will return to the Dodgers in free agency, but president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman expects him to ready for Opening Day.
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