Scott Van Slyke: Clayton Kershaw Understands Historical Significance Of Possibly Spending Entire Career With Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw, Scott Van Slyke
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers saw several members of their core become free agents this offseason, including Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen and Corey Seager, who all have spent the entirety of their career with the organization to this point.

Of the trio, Kershaw’s free agency arguably is the most unpredictable. He appears to be in no rush of choosing a team and is willing to let the process unfold by itself.

While the Dodgers are considered a favorite to re-sign Kershaw, there remains the possibility he could choose to return home and sign with the Texas Rangers.

However, the possibility of playing with only one team is said to carry some meaning for the three-time Cy Young Award winner. “I think the last time I talked to him about this was probably a year ago, or more, because he foresaw it coming,” Scott Van Slyke told in an exclusive interview.

“It’s something he’s been thinking about for a while. Obviously if you’re with somebody for as long as he has been, has the background that he has, and he also understands the history of baseball. He understands what it would’ve looked like if Pujols stayed in St. Louis, and Joe DiMaggio staying.

“There is something about guys staying with the same organization that ages well in the baseball community. Nowadays people bounce around. But, Clayton is different. I think he understands that aspect of baseball history and what that would mean to the fans.

“He’s got a great life ahead of him whether he retires now, goes to L.A. or goes wherever. I don’t think his name is going to be tarnished by the decision he makes at all. Obviously I think he’s weight all the options.”

While remaining with the Dodgers would appeal to Kershaw, he ultimately will make the best decision for his family. The Rangers are a natural fit for the 33-year-old as he grew up in Dallas, Texas, and still lives in the area during the offseason with his wife, Ellen, and three children.

Rangers manager Chris Woodward recently acknowledged the team has spoken to Kershaw and would understandably be pleased to sign him.

Kershaw playing for another team would surprise Van Slyke

The Dodgers and Rangers are believed to be the only options for Kershaw in free agency. Even though Texas is being speculated as a potential landing spot, Van Slyke would be more surprised to see him play elsewhere over simply retiring.

“I think if he played for another team,” Van Slyke said of what would shock him more. “It wouldn’t surprise me if he retired, it wouldn’t surprise me if he stayed in L.A. and it wouldn’t surprise me if he went and played for somebody else.”

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