As the Dodgers prepare to head into free agency, one Dodger player who is under contract next season discussed his thoughts about a new contract.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw can’t become a free agent until after the 2014 season but it’s been widely speculated that he will sign an extension with the team before ever hitting the open market.
The left-hander spoke about whether he thought the situation could be figured out in the near future to the LA Times’ Dylan Hernandez:
I really don’t know what to expect. I’m just kind of open-minded going into the off-season. Whatever happens, I’ll be coming back next year anyway. I’m just trying to prepare for that.
It seems as if Kershaw is trying to be unaffected by any negotiations or potential contracts. The 25-year-old is under contract for the 2014 season and regardless of any extension, will be with the team for at least the upcoming season.
Dodger management, namely Magic Johnson, has made it clear that the NL West champions have full intentions of extending Kershaw and keeping him in Dodger blue for the significant future. Reports of a $300 million, lifetime contract have been rumored and would make Kershaw the first $300 million man in the history of baseball.
Kershaw will be entering his seventh season with the Dodgers and is coming off a season in which he is expected to win the NL Cy Young Award for the second time in the last three seasons. He finished this season with a 16-9 record with a league-low 1.83 ERA and a league-leading 232 strikeouts. In six seasons, Kershaw has a lifetime record of 77-49 with a 2.60 ERA and 1,206 strikeouts in 1,180 innings pitched.
The Dodgers likely will have the off-season to get the extension done because Kershaw has been against discussing contracts during the season. Whether a deal gets done remains to be seen, but Kershaw seems like he’s ready for the 2014 season as the Dodgers look to improve after their disappointing ending.
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