Coming into the season, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was adamant that he wouldn’t negotiate with the Dodgers during the season. However, with the incredible success that he’s had so far this season coupled together with his overall career, Kershaw is driving up his price significantly.
Prior to the season, Tigers starter Justin Verlander and Mariners starter Felix Hernandez broke the bank as they signed the two highest contracts for a pitcher in baseball history.
ESPN 710 host Mark Willard discussed how much Kershaw could make and the number is staggering:
Just spoke to a baseball agent.Says Casey Close (Kershaw agent) wouldn’t be asking for 200M right now.He’d be asking for 300M.
— Mark Willard (@Mark_T_Willard) May 15, 2013
Could Kershaw ask for $300 million? Better yet, would the Dodgers give him that much money? Chances are that Kershaw will sign for between $225-$250 million and shatter Verlander and Hernandez’s contracts.
This season, Kershaw leads baseball with a microscopic ERA of 1.40 and again is leading the Dodgers rotation as they try to climb out of their early season hole. For much of his Dodgers career, Kershaw has been everything he was hyped up to be and is the Dodgers one constant in a rather difficult season.
Where Kershaw has made the biggest strides is his ability to reduce the number of walks allowed. He has a 3.94 K/BB ratio this season and he’s been able to work deeper into games due to his lower pitch count.
In Dodgers lore, Kershaw is starting to hear the comparisons to Sandy Koufax even more. Among starters who have pitched at least 1,000 career innings, Kershaw has the lowest ERA in major league baseball history at 2.70.
It’s not hard to build a case for him to be the highest paid pitcher in history, it’s just a matter of how much money the Dodgers are willing to pay for the top pitcher in baseball.