Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (36) chose the friendly team instead of the hometown team. The name of Ryu Hyun-jin (37), a free agent, is emerging as a substitute for Ryu.마카오토토주소
U.S. media SportsKida said on the 7th (Korea time), “Kershaw, who had the possibility of going to the Texas Rangers, chose to make a comeback for the LA Dodgers,” adding, “Ryu Hyun-jin can be an ideal player for last year’s World Series championship team (Texas).”
Citing sources, U.S. media outlets including the official Major League website MLB.com reported on the same day that Clayton Kershaw agreed to renew his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kershaw will play as a Dodgers man for 17 seasons. The contract reportedly includes options that players can exercise during the 2025 season. As a result, Kershaw can choose whether to extend his contract.
After the end of the last season, Kershaw had three options: staying with the Dodgers, retiring and moving to Texas. It is not a surprise that Kershaw, who had a good record last season, will stay with the Dodgers, but now that he is in his mid-30s, the story of his retirement was unexpected. Having undergone surgery on his left shoulder after the end of the last season, Kershaw will not be able to return until this summer. He is also likely to return later than expected given that he hurt his dangerous shoulder at the age of 36. On top of that, after his team was eliminated from the Arizona Diamondbacks and National League Division Series last year with all three losses, he said, “I don’t know yet. I don’t know what to say.”
In contrast, rumors of a transfer to Texas have been steadily raised. Kershaw, a native of Dallas, Texas, has been steadily expected to sign a contract with his hometown team Texas. Analysts said that despite his outstanding performance and symbolism, he signed short-term contracts in succession in 2022 and 2023. Some said he would likely go to Texas ahead of the 2022 season, but he signed a one-year contract with the Dodgers in March when the Major League’s lockout was lifted.
“Kershaw has long declared that he will end his career in his hometown with his family. Joining Texas is a good opportunity,” the Los Angeles Times reported. Kershaw himself told MLB.com in an interview at the end of 2022, “There are only two teams that I can play for. This is no secret,” vowing to wear Dodgers and Texas jerseys only.
However, Kershaw had a strong image as a Dodgers pitcher. Since his debut in the big league in 2008, Kershaw has played 2,712 ⅔ innings in 425 games, recording 210 wins, 92 losses, 2944 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.48. In the Dodgers’ long history, Kershaw has been ranked at the top in most major indices, including pitcher WAR (77.1, baseball reference), multiple wins, strikeouts, fifth inning, and third starting pitcher (422 games).
On top of that, transferring to Texas was also difficult in reality. Texas Rangers, last year’s World Series champion, has yet to sign a contract with left-hander Jordan Montgomery (32), one of the leading players in the championship. However, currently, there are two pitchers with big names like Max Scherzer (40) and Jacob deGrom (36), as well as Kershaw. As it was difficult for them to play in the opening game like Kershaw, synergy effect was not possible. As a result, there was no sign that Texas showed interest in Kershaw.
Anyway, Texas failed to catch Kershaw. And two ace players are expected to return only in the summer. According to ESPN, deGrom attended Texas’ recent fan festival and jokingly announced his plan to return, saying, “If we (DeGrom and Max Scherzer) return in time for the trade deadline, it would be like recruiting the two players.” DeGrom underwent Tommy John surgery after going on the disabled list in April last year, and Scherzer also underwent back disc surgery after the World Series ended last year.
He has yet to sign a contract with Montgomery. Montgomery contributed to the Texas Rangers winning the World Series last year. Since moving to Texas last year, Montgomery has pitched well with four wins and 2.79 ERA in 11 games, and contributed to his team’s victory in the World Series by pitching well with two wins and no losses with a 1.29 ERA in Houston and the Championship Series.
Texas Rangers, the winner of last year’s World Series, is not in perfect shape yet. On the Texas Depth chart provided by MLB.com , the starting rotation consisted of Nathan Iboldi, Andrew Heaney, Dane Dunning, John Gray, and Tyler Mahle. Iboldi is a player who can take the first place in the starting lineup without deGrom and Scherzer. In last year’s regular season, he performed well with 12 wins and five losses with a 3.63 ERA, although his innings were as few as 144 innings, and in six postseason games, he displayed good performance as a “big game pitcher” with five wins and no losses with a 2.95 ERA.
The rest of the players are not bad, either. Korean pitcher Dunning pitched 172 ⅔ in 35 games (26 starts) last year, marking the career high in four seasons since his debut in the big league. Left-hander Heaney also pitched the most innings (147 ⅓) in his career in five years, recording 10 wins and 4.15 ERA. Gray and Mahle also had full-time starting experience, so the Texas Rangers have observed their starting lineup.
However, this alone is hardly enough to win the hearts and minds of the public. Five starters are hardly enough to play a full season. On top of that, there is no guarantee that deGrom and Scherzer, already in their mid-30s, will make a comeback in good health. Hence, media outlets have aggressively called for the recruitment of Ryu.
The Texas Rangers could sign a short-term contract with Ryu next season, the media said. The media, which introduced his history of Tommy John surgery in 2022, said that he is reportedly working out in Korea to build up his body normally.