Clayton Kershaw rumors: Dodgers hoping to agree on extension within days

Pool

Kershaw is set to become the highest-paid pitcher ever after posting some of the most outstanding numbers for a young player in baseball history.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are hoping to have a principle agreement in place on a contract extension with starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw by Friday, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

A long-term Kershaw contract will assuredly be the largest ever given out to a pitcher, eclipsing the $180 million the Tigers gave to Justin Verlander. Kershaw could even approach the record $275 million given to Alex Rodriguez, though that high of a number now appears unlikely. The Dodgers and Kershaw reportedly briefly flirted with a $300 million "life-time" contract that would have seen him locked up for 12 years, but are closer to settling around $250 million.

Los Angeles wants a deal done by Friday's deadline to exchange arbitration numbers. Kershaw is entering his final year of arbitration eligibility and the difference in numbers between the two sides could be significant. This would be Kershaw's first time actually going through the arbitration process: He is coming off a two-year, $19 million deal that bought out his first two years of arbitration.

Kershaw and the Dodgers had been close to a $210 million deal over seven years in August, though the Dodgers hesitated and ultimately did not make the deal. That would have included an opt-out clause for Kershaw, allowing him to become a free agent after five years if he chose to exercise it. It's possible a deal made in the next few days could also include such a clause, which would allow him to become a free agent at the age of 30 and earn another huge contract.

Kershaw, 25, has been on an historic run. Over the past three years he has won two Cy Young awards and finished second once. He has led the league in WHIP and ERA each of the past three seasons and in strikeouts twice. Kershaw has not had an ERA over 2.91 since his rookie season in 2008, when he was 20 years old. In 2013, he had his best season yet with a 1.81 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP and 232 strikeouts. He has made at least 30 starts each of the past five years. Those numbers are even more incredible when one considers he has yet to reach his prime.

Even if the Dodgers are able to sign Kershaw, that may not be enough to remove them from contention for Masahiro Tanaka. Los Angeles' pockets run deep and when they are fixated on a player they seem willing to spend whatever it takes to land him. If the Dodgers do sign Tanaka and extend Kershaw, that would give the team three Casey Close clients signed long term in their rotation as those two would join Zack Greinke.

More from SB Nation MLB:

Microbaseball: The art of the 2-sentence baseball story

Clayton Kershaw could sign $300 million contract

Brisbee: The 5 creepiest mascots (and the nature of pants)

RBI Baseball is back

Death of a Ballplayer: Wrongly convicted prospect spends 27 years in prison

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.