Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers were 'close' to $210 million contract earlier in season, per report

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The lefty ace nearly received a record-breaking deal this summer, but the club backed off those negotiations.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw were nearing a record-breaking contract earlier this season before the team apparently backed off, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Negotiations for Kershaw's next deal had reportedly been pegged at seven years and $210 million during the midseason talks, but they likely won't open back up until the offseason.

Kershaw has positioned himself this offseason to receive the largest contract ever handed to a pitcher considering he currently leads the majors with a 1.72 ERA. As long as he avoids catastrophe until the end of the season, it's possible Kershaw could demand a deal worth even more than the figures mentioned above.

However things end up, Kershaw seems a lock to beat the seven-year, $180 million contract owned by Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander. As Eric Stephen of True Blue LA notes, Kershaw is "better and younger than Verlander and [Felix] Hernandez" so it makes sense for the lefty to command a larger contract.

That leaves Los Angeles to wonder just what kind of record contract they'll need to give Kershaw to keep him around. If he keeps churning out elite numbers like he has thus far this season, management may wonder why they waited so long.

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