Could the Astros sign Clayton Kershaw with Carlos Correa’s money?

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers. (Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers. (Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Houston Astros are likely to lose Carlos Correa to free agency. Could Clayton Kershaw be a target for the AL pennant-holders this offseason?

The Houston Astros are bracing for the offseason, where they are likely going to lose star shortstop Carlos Correa to free agency. In a last ditch effort, the team reportedly offered Correa a five-year, $160 million contract, and it is unlikely that he will accept it, especially when you look at Francisco Lindor’s deal with the New York Mets.

If Correa is to sign elsewhere this hot stove season, the Astros will have a ton of money left to spend on free agents. Should one of those be Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw? And would the left-handed pitcher accept a deal from Houston?

Could the Astros sign Clayton Kershaw?

The answer to that question is yes. The Astros have a pressing need at starting pitcher, since Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke are all set to become free agents. The team needs to make an upgrade this offseason, and Kershaw is an interesting name to target, despite his injury-riddled campaign.

Kershaw recorded a 3.55 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP and 144 strikeouts over 121.2 innings of work (22 starts). The left-hander was not issued a qualifying offer by the Dodgers.

But, would Kershaw accept an offer from the Astros? That is difficult to say, since Kershaw and Houston have a bit of a history.

The two sides met in the 2017 World Series, which the Astros won in seven games. More than two years later, MLB investigated and ruled that Houston illegally stole signs at home games throughout the 2017 regular-season and postseason. The Astros were still recognized as World Series champions, with the league handing their punishments to the organization ($5 million fine, loss of first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021) and general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch (one-season suspensions).

This situation is tricky. Sure, the Astros could give Kershaw the money that he is looking for, but would he accept it, given the scandal? That remains to be seen.

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