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Clayton Kershaw on the d.l. with biceps tendonitis

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has been placed on the disabled list with biceps tendonitis

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Los Angeles Dodger Clayton Kershaw has been placed on the 10 day disabled list, the team announced today. The veteran lefthanded pitcher is currently sporting a 2.86 ERA in 7 starts over 44 innings pitched on the season, and last pitched on May 1, when he allows 2 runs over 6 innings of work.

Kershaw going on the d.l. is a blow for the Dodgers, who came into the season as one of the favorites to win the World Series, but who are currently in 4th place in the National League West, sporting a 15-18 record and sitting 7 games back of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Kershaw is reporting returning to Los Angeles to be examined by the team doctor, and just judging from the initial reports, one doesn’t get the sense this is something Kershaw is expected to be activated from after the minimum 10 days.

The Dodgers just placed starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu on the disabled list with a torn groin muscle expected to keep him out for a couple of months, start shortstop Corey Seager is out for the year with Tommy John surgery, and infielders Justin Turner and Logan Forsythe are also on the d.l. With Ryu and Kershaw out, the rotation for the Dodgers would seem to be Rich Hill (who is on the d.l., but is reportedly being activated to start Tuesday), Kenta Maeda, Alex Wood, Walker Buehler and Ross Stripling.

From the perspective of a Texas Rangers fan, this has a couple of potential implications. First, while Kershaw has roughly two years remaining on his currently contract past this season with roughly $70 million due, he also has an opt-out after 2018, and the consensus has been that he will exercise that opt out. Should he do so, the Rangers are widely expected to make a serious run after the Highland Park native this offseason. If Kershaw misses significant time with an arm injury — particularly after missing time the previous two seasons -- it would seem very unlikely he would opt out.

Secondly, there’s been talk about the Dodgers potentially being a trade partner for the Rangers this summer, when the Rangers are expected to be sellers, and the Dodgers buyers. Both Adrian Beltre and Cole Hamels have been talked about as potential Dodger trade targets. However, if Kershaw ends up missing significant time, on top of Seager being out for the year and whatever other injuries they may be dealing with, Los Angeles may, come July, feel they are in a position where they don’t want to part with significant prospects for rentals. Los Angeles is also seen as a potential destination for Manny Machado, who is a free agent at season’s end, and if the Dodgers decide to pass on Machado, that gives teams that might be interested in trading for Beltre another option to consider.

We shall have to wait and see how serious this injury is, and it may very well be a minor issue that doesn’t impact Kershaw’s anticipated opt-out or the Dodgers’ desire to be sellers at the deadline. But this is worth keeping an eye on, because it could potentially impact the Rangers in a few different ways going forward.