Before Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw finished off Game 1 of the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves, Dodgers owner Magic Johnson discussed future plans for the Cy Young frontrunner.
Kershaw, who can become a free agent after the 2014 season, had another stellar season going 16-9 with a league-low 1.83 ERA. Kershaw led the league in ERA for the third straight season.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Johnson spoke about the Dodgers’ chances of signing their ace:
Magic Johnson confident #Dodgers will sign Clayton Kershaw to long-term deal this winter. “We know where we have to be.”
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) October 3, 2013
Kershaw and his agent have said that they will not discuss a contract during the season, but the Dodgers owner was not shy about the team’s intentions.
Johnson would go on to add that Kershaw’s deal would likely prevent the Dodgers from pursuing free agent second baseman Yankees second baseman, Robinson Cano. The Dodgers have said they have no interest in the All-Star infielder, but others are taking the “we’ll believe it when we see it” attitude.
Kershaw has been one of baseball’s best pitchers for the last three years and won the Cy Young back in 2011.
The left-hander was a victim of low run support this season, but still managed to get 16 wins and led the NL in strikeouts and all of MLB in ERA and WHIP. He was also in the top 10 in opponents batting average, innings pitched and games started.
For some starting figures of a contract, Kershaw can look no further than his fellow starter Zack Greinke, who signed a six-year, $147 million dollar contract in the offseason. The Mariners signed Felix Hernandez to a seven-year, $175 million dollar contract and the Tigers signed Justin Verlander to an $180 million dollar contract recently.
Kershaw may be looking at a contract upwards of $200 million dollars when all is said and done and he certainly earned it after his performance tonight.
In case you missed it, here’s the Dodgers pool celebration, PLUS Yasiel Puig’s celebration dance off!