The future first-ballot Hall of Famer is currently a free agent. After a disastrous performance in the postseason versus the Diamondbacks, Kershaw had surgery to fix a shoulder issue. While he could conceivably come back and play in 2024, it’s up in the air as to whether Kershaw will come back at all or even come back to the Dodgers.
Speaking to AM570’s David Vassegh, Kershaw was asked about the hysteria surrounding Ohtani and the Dodgers. He had this to say:
“It’s just so much money, isn’t it? This is crazy. But I think he is a unique, unique talent. I don’t think there’s anybody like him and once he starts pitching again … everybody wants to watch it. You know – I want to watch it.”
Being a cagey veteran, Kershaw was very careful with the language he used during this interview. He didn’t tip his hand one way or another as to whether he will or won’t come back in 2024.
At this point, there are three logical outcomes for the Kershaw situation:
1. Kershaw retires to spend more time with his family
2. Kershaw signs with the Texas Rangers
3. Kershaw re-signs with the Dodgers
Kershaw grew up in Dallas and lives in the area with his family during the offseason. Having four young kids, the potential thought of staying home and keeping his kids in their schools probably is an attractive option. The Rangers are also coming off of a World Series title and should be in contention for another this upcoming year.
On the other hand, it’s difficult to envision Kershaw representing any other MLB franchise. He’s one of the best pitchers in the history of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, and the thought of him wearing another jersey would be very strange.
Kershaw could re-up on a short deal where he’s given time to ease his way back into the mix. He’s no longer being asked to be the focal point of the pitching staff.
With Walker Buehler coming back from injury, and Tyler Glasnow coming in via trade, Kershaw’s wicked off-speed assortment actually could be very effective as a change-up from the velocity of the Buehler-Glasnow combination (not to mention Bobby Miller and Emmet Sheehan).
To that point, seeing Kershaw play alongside Ohtani would be pretty special considering both are two of the best players of their respective generations.