Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw Has Harsh Words About MLB Free Agency

The headline grabbing quote was what Clayton Kershaw said about free agency in baseball. Of course, he was addressing a question about unsigned free agents Manny Machado and Bryce Harper.

Kershaw spent some time with Jorge Castillo of the LA Times on the day pitchers and catchers reported.

Kershaw’s words about the landscape of free agency in baseball was less than enthusiastic.

“It’s not great for the game by any means,” Kershaw said on Tuesday. “We got two guys that are 26-year-old superstars in the game. Obviously, I don’t know either side. I don’t know what’s going on on their side, what kind of offers they’ve been given. But you’d like to see them signed as well as the other 100 or so guys that deserve a spot.”

Now, it appears that Kershaw is having the backs of his fellow players. Furthermore, he’s not exactly attacking owners. It’s important to remember that he resonates most with a former teammate in Machado and a fellow All-Star in Harper. Still, it’s not the headline-grabbing quote that many will make it out to be.

Kershaw simply shined the light on something that baseball needs to address. That is: how free agency is handled by owners, agents, and it’s players. If something doesn’t give way in the near future, we may be writing about the possibility of a strike after the 2022 season. No one wants to hear about that. Kershaw is diplomatic and a pillar of the game. Furthermore, if a guy like him sees this as an issue; it’s worth being addressed at higher levels.

Kershaw signed his own 3-year, $93 million dollar extension this past November. This will keep him in Los Angeles until after his age-33 season.

Where do you sit on this argument? Do you side with the players or the owners, and why? Let us know in the comments!

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    • I would like to know how much Kershaw is willing to give up so the Dodgers can sign one of those two guys. Or who he would move to make salary room for them to join the team.

      • Have a hard time taking a side here. I know $300M is a ridiculous amount of money for playing a game, but other than actors, how many of us could get someone to pay to watch us work? Also, how many owners are hurting for money? My guess is none, I mean how much for a Dodger dog and a beer? $25? Both sides will win in the end. It’s the regular fan that will get hurt. Right in the old wallet. 🙁

    • I totally agree with you James, what bothers me is that the Dodgers are probably making the most money of all the teams and have the most loyal fans supporting them. It appears that Harper is willing to get a contract for less years than the 10 he wanted, what is stopping the dodgers from getting Harper ??? I think they would have a full house in every home game and would probably end up making more money with a lot more support from the fans.

  1. What’s the beef? the players apparently want more than the owners are willing to pay. Nobody’s wrong or right. It’s just what we all do with our money. If the price is too high, the purchaser doesn’t buy. if the seller doesn’t want to accept, he doesn’t sell. Eventually, a point is reached where the two sides find an amount each is willing to accept. At that point, we have found the value involved.

  2. Basically if salaries keep escalating they are pushing out the average fans. It is so costly to go to a game or to purchase merchandise. These guys are making millions for playing a kids game that we all loved to play when we were little. These 10 contracts are so lopsided toward the player that if they get hurt or don’t perform as they did before they signed that it only favors them. The club has no protection. and a lot of them can opt out and demand more in a few years. In my opinion a club is crazy to guarantee a 10 year contract, I don’t care who the player is.

  3. Has one MLB player shown a concern of families unable to afford ticket prices, insane parking fees and prices for food, drinks and souvenirs for kids?
    These millionaire players complaining, about not getting millions of $$$ have lost touch with the fans.

  4. I hope the players are not going to tell clubs how to do their business in the future. If a club doesn’t want to sign a 300 million dollar guy and prefers instead to dole it out to five guys, they should have right to do so. MLB isn’t telling the players how to spend their money. I’m with the owners on this one.

  5. I am a baseball fan as well as a DODGER fan . I believe that the OWNERS should be able to pay the players what the OWNERS. WANT . 31 MILLION for the next 3 years is WAY OVER PAY ( pitchers pitch EVERY 5 days. ) NO. ONE IS WORTH THIS AMOUNT !!!!!!!!!!! THINK HOW much the SUPER STARS of the past would be getting paid ???????? SPORTS IS A GAME!!!!!!! And some of these ATHLETES should MAKE A LIVING IN THE REAL WORLD !!!!!!!!

  6. I don’t fee sorry for the players that are holding out for $300 million. How is that an owners issue. Ask for what you, hold out for what you want, but don’t feel bad for them when no one gives them what they want.

  7. One other thing to consider here is that most teams are not wanting to be in a situation where if they were to give out that type of deal (10 years @$300 million for example) then it most likely straps and limits a team’s ability to fill other holes if most of the team’s player salary is going to just 1 player.

  8. Hard to feel sorry for these millionaires. This is a capitalistic county. You will get paid as much as anyone is willing to pay for your services. Don’t like it? Then go get a regular job. I used to go to 1-2 games a home stand. Last year I went to two just because the prices are way out of whack.

  9. Sorry, but no FA sympathy here for the likes of Harper and Machado, or for Kershaw, who said, “It’s not great for the game by any means,” meaning (IMO), that he’s already looking ahead a few years to his own eventual free agency. While Kershaw has taken, what appears to be a cavalier, shallow, and quite possibly selfish perspective of “the game,” he apparently is also conveniently ignoring any concerns for the ramifications of free agency on the economics of the game, which is the backbone of its survival.
    Most people understand that free agency contracts, for top tier/superstar players, have been escalating unchecked, for years, at a rate and amount, to a point where, if something is not done to slow them down, will eventually break the bank and be the end of the game. Or does Kershaw expect the continually rising costs of risky multi-year, nine-figure contracts to be constantly passed on to the backs of ticket buying fans, or those capable of paying for and receiving cable TV broadcasts of the games?
    Multi-millionaire ballplayers, blessed with the abilities to be playing a kid’s game for a living, need to be more in tune with the fact that average working people, perhaps only making minimum wage or slightly above, are often contributing heavily out of their pockets for rich athletes to live out their childhood dreams and enjoy the luxuries of life that ridiculous salaries can provide. Kershaw is a generous baseball player known to “give back” from the bounty of his talents, but his attitude on free agency belies that.

  10. “Most” of us fans are middle income people. I personally don’t give a rats fuzzy ass how many millions you sign or don’t sign for. Play ball or get a “real” job like the rest of us. Tired of hearing all you millionaires damn whining. We got mouths to feed and kids to put thru college with loans and you are bitching about how many millions you make. Keep it up and you will lose fans.

  11. Have to agree with the group here. Teams have a Cap and like all businesses teams must make a return on their investment. Long term $30 million plus contracts are insane financially. Look at the Angels with the Pujos deal and Pujos is a guaranteed HOF guy and an amazing person.

    The players agents in this are out of control and attempting to drive the market as they get a percentage of the deal. Boras and the agents do not give a damn about baseball it is all about the money. I fault the players for allowing this as it has held up the other deals around the league.

    You would think if Harper or Machado had any sense they would figure out that their contract requests are out of line with the market and get their heads out and find out what the market will actually bear.

  12. Since when is any owner required to sign a certain player? You think, just maybe, the asking rice is too high? The agents are greedy and have brought the majority of the players on board.

  13. It’s baseball that’s broken and not free agency. What business, other than MLB, has a $190M payroll? And yet, owners are making more money than God. Still, the Brewers are paying a catcher $18M for one year (more money than I will make in 12 life times). Machado wants $300M for 10 years, but won’t run out a grounder to first and stops to admire his shot that, oops, hits off the wall and thus, turns a double into a single. Meanwhile, I cannot afford parking at Oracle Park let alone a ticket. Yes, Mr. Kershaw and Mr. Verlander, its not free agency that’s broken; it’s baseball.

  14. I don’t think the system is broken. Players and their agents have dictated that their clients are worth a set amount of money and the system is broken because team aren’t being duped into it ? If anything, it shows there are checks and balances that work. What the agents and players are doing borders on extortion. $300,000,000? Why not $10,000,000,000? Holding out for long term contract at over $300,000,000 is like a baby holding its breath to get its way. If an owner is foolish enough to pay the ransom, them they deserve to lose that bad investment.