The 2014 season is nearing and it brings up the possibility that it could be the last year in Los Angeles for two prominent Dodger players. NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and shortstop Hanley Ramirez are both in their final years and can become free agents after the 2014 season.
According to the Dodgers official Twitter account, GM Ned Colletti expressed how things are going in terms of a contract extension for Kershaw:
"We have had conversations for a while. We have a desire to keep him here for a long time." -Ned Colletti on re-signing Clayton Kershaw.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) January 8, 2014
The 25-year-old is coming off a season in which he went 16-9 with a 1.83 ERA and 232 strikeouts in 33 starts for the Dodgers. He won his second NL Cy Young in three years and has become one of the top pitchers in all of baseball. Kershaw has led the league in ERA the past three seasons and has made at least 30 starts in five straight seasons.
There have been rumors that the Dodgers offered the left-hander a deal in the $300 million range but a deal hasn’t yet been reached. Kershaw hinted that he’s curious about free agency and will likely not negotiate during the season, meaning the Dodgers will have to get something done before then.
Also, Colletti updated the status of a new deal for Ramirez via Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
Colletti said he has had some conversations with Hanley Ramirez's agent re: extension.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) January 8, 2014
The 30-year-old shortstop had mentioned earlier this off-season that talks had begun for a deal and it seems that either not much has changed or the Dodgers are remaining quiet on the subject. Ramirez was acquired from the Miami Marlins in 2012 and has become a key contributor in the middle of the order. Last year, he hit .345 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI in just 86 games because of injuries. Ramirez even played through a broken rib in the NLCS after being hit by a pitch in Game 1. The slugging shortstop has expressed his love and desire to remain in Los Angeles and it remains possible that a deal will be done.
The Dodgers have been rather quiet this off-season in terms of high-priced talent but could further solidify their off-season and future with the signings of their two superstars.
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