1. Clayton Kershaw
This is not a matter of the Dodgers’ interest — it’s a matter of Kershaw wanting to continue playing baseball, or whether he wants to play closer to home in Texas with the Rangers.
After LA’s season ended, Kershaw said he’s leaning towards playing in 2023, but provided no further details. Last offseason, after he finally re-signed with the Dodgers, he revealed it came down to LA and Texas. So that scenario is very, very real.
Then there’s retirement. Kershaw, an unquestioned first-ballot Hall of Famer, has been breaking down for quite a while now. He hasn’t pitched a full season since 2015. Most recently, back and elbow issues kept him limited. And the back issues have been recurring.
There’s a world in which Kershaw is content with hanging up his cleats. He’s one of the best pitchers of his generation. He won a World Series (regardless what the baseball community at large thinks about it). He’s captured three Cy Youngs and an MVP. He’s won five ERA titles. He’s led the league in wins and strikeouts three times. Outside of his postseason blemishes and injury-shortened seasons, he’s had one of the best careers in the history of the sport.
Perhaps the Dodgers’ aggression in free agency and on the trade market will influence Kersh’s next move. If they stack up for another dominant run in 2023, that could tip the scales. If they don’t, maybe a couple more seasons in Texas on his own terms will close the chapter on his career.
Ugh, but under Bruce Bochy. Come on. Can’t let this happen.