Los Angeles Dodgers fans who are worried sick about their 2021 roster dwindling will not be getting relief any time soon, thanks to the poorly-timed expiration of MLB’s previous CBA.
As of 11:59 PM on Dec. 1, all transactions will enter a freeze, meaning this past week’s free agency frenzy will end with a whimper that could last months.
While activity is paused, Dodgers fans will be left with a bad taste in their mouths thanks to Dodgers Southwest — otherwise known as Chris Woodward, Tim Hyers, and Corey Seager’s Texas Rangers.
This offseason especially, it’s felt like the Rangers have quadrupled down on their strategy of stockpiling former Dodgers, from those at the forefront of a previous dynasty (Seager) to the more interchangeable spare parts (these recently-traded bozos).
In essence, if you weren’t worried about Clayton Kershaw beginning his retirement tour closer to his hometown before, you likely are now, considering every blinking light that Texas’ authority figures are sending indicates they’re in full-throttle pursuit of people who’ll make him comfortable.
Just listen to Woodward wooing Kershaw the other day, over a week before the Seager deal was finalized and things got more enticing.
Should the Dodgers be worried about Clayton Kershaw-Rangers rumors?
And, not to mention, it could take literal months before this part of the offseason is resolved.
With complex medicals ahead for Kershaw, who battled an elbow issue that ended his 2021 season, no team would dare try to get their negotiations under the wire and speed through a process that could be entirely determinative of the left-hander’s effectiveness.
So, despite Andrew Friedman’s overtures claiming his decision not to dangle the qualifying offer had nothing to do with the team’s long-term Kershaw plans, nervous nellies will now have all of December, January, and possibly even February to ruminate on whether the Rangers are approaching their ceiling of being appealing.
A last-place team? For Kershaw’s golden years? What would be the point of that?
All this scoffing was a lot more valid back in November, before Texas went and added not one, but two, of the top-five shortstops available this offseason, committing an unheard-of pile of money to free agent targets (plus Jon Gray and Kole Calhoun…) while fulfilling their promises to major players in a market where most teams have opted to be minor factors.
There’s still plenty of reason to believe Kershaw will end MLB’s extended silence by re-upping with the team that’s become his home since Draft Day. Dave Roberts seemed to indicate his team would take care of the lefty, even as the rest of the baseball world hypothesized about the loose ends Friedman forgot to tie up and the possibility of a new home on the range.
Though it may take months, all signs point to continuity being important to all parties. Though the Rangers are more appealing now than they were when the season wrapped, the Dodgers are still closer to contention and relaxing smack-dab in the middle of their window.
Plus, Matthew Stafford plays in LA now, too. Why would Kershaw want to leave him?