The end of an era?
If you asked me a year ago to list off the least likely candidates to become free agents after the 2021 season, Clayton Kershaw might have been at the top of the list. However, after his season ended prematurely due to an arm injury, the future Hall of Famer may not have had the storybook finish he was hoping for in a Dodgers uniform.
So why not write an amazing chapter for the end of the book as a Blue Jay?
I’ll admit that the idea of being able to sign Kershaw is still a long shot, and that chances are still pretty good that he could return to L.A. for another season. It’s also not known exactly what kind of shape that golden left arm of his is in, although it sounds like he avoided major injury by shutting down ahead of the postseason. You have to think that injury status factored into the Dodgers’ decision here, but it’s also possible they’re looking to structure their payroll differently.
It’s long been assumed that if Kershaw ever left the Dodgers that he’d likely head somewhere closer to his home state of Texas. That could put the Rangers or maybe even the Astros in play for his services, but I think the Blue Jays are in a position where they could make a competitive bid.
Not only do they have the available funds to do that, but their exciting young roster coupled with some high-end vets makes joining them a lot more tempting than it was a year or two ago, especially for an aging veteran. At 33, if Kershaw decides to continue pitching it may very well be that another World Series ring is near the top of his list of goals. If that’s the case, the Blue Jays should at least make a phone call to gauge potential interest.
Kershaw would come with some injury risk to be sure, but it’s not every day you get the chance to sign a future Hall of Famer, especially one coming off a season with a 1.013 WHIP over 22 starts. He might not be the ace that he used to be, but he’s still a damn good pitcher.