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Clayton Kershaw is returning to the Dodgers, spurning the Rangers for one big reason: He wants to compete for a title and Texas can’t give him that chance.
Clayton Kershaw was one of the most intriguing free agent pitchers out there but he’s off the market.
On Sunday, the Dodgers confirmed they had re-signed Kershaw to a one-year contract for the 2022 season, keeping him in LA for the pursuit of another championship.
While Kershaw said he didn’t consider retirement an option, per Juan Toribio, he did confirm that he ultimately had to choose between Los Angeles and the Texas Rangers.
His reasoning for sticking with the Dodgers won’t make fans in Texas particularly happy.
Why did Clayton Kershaw pick the Dodgers over the Rangers?
“It was no secret we were going to go play in Texas or stay here…At the end of the day, I wanted to be here and win a World Series and I think the Dodgers give me the best chance to do that.”
Kershaw is from Dallas, so clearly there’s a connection to Texas that made him consider the Rangers. He’s also friends with Rangers GM Chris Youn. However, he’s interested in going back to the World Series and that was why he didn’t choose to come home. In other words, the Rangers aren’t close enough to contending.
That’s not an unfair assessment from Kershaw at this exact moment. LA is more World Series ready and they’re deep in the running for Freddie Freeman in a bid to get even stronger. However, the Rangers are doing what they can to build to that level. They signed Corey Seager to a 10-year deal while also adding Marcus Semien, Kole Calhoun and Jon Gray.
Since he signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers, Texas could be in play next year if he stays healthy and decides to put off retirement for another stretch.