Late last night, news broke that the Dodgers and ace Clayton Kershaw were progressing towards a contract extension that would make the young lefty the highest paid pitcher in baseball.
Kershaw’s market was set early in the winter by Mariners ace Felix Hernandez and Tigers ace Justin Verlander as they were signed to $180 million and $175 million contracts respectively.
However, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, the sides are inching towards a deal:
“The Dodgers have made progress on a seven-year extension for Kershaw, and the dollar amount will be above the $180 million the Tigers awarded Verlander, according to major-league sources. The contract would be the largest for a pitcher in baseball history.”
Rosenthal goes onto discuss that the two sides have discussed contracts ranging from 1o-years and $250 million to 12-years and $300 million.
Kershaw should fetch a steep price since he’s younger than both Verlander and Hernandez while he’s also settled into his own after struggling for years with walking too many batters.
The news is surprising given the fact that Kershaw and his agent maintained that they wouldn’t discuss a contract during the season. With news spreading about ongoing negotiations, Kershaw spoke to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times about how he felt about seeing Rosenthal’s report:
“I think the reason we’ve been able to continue discussions for this long is that it’s not been talked about,” Kershaw said. “And now that I’m having to talk about it, it’s a distraction because people are talking about it. I guess you’ll have to talk to the Dodgers as to why it came out now. I don’t love the fact that I have to talk about it.”
Whether or not this leads to contract talks breaking down or not remains to be seen, but it sounds like Kershaw will be a Dodger for life and it won’t come cheap.