The Dodgers have spent aggressively to acquire players from other organizations this summer, but at some point in the coming months they could turn their attention to a player they drafted and developed themselves: reigning Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw. The left-hander told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that he would consider a long-term extension if the Dodgers wish to discuss one.
"Yeah, sure, I'm always open to talks," Kershaw said. "I've had a great time here. I love the guys and I love everything about L.A."
Last offseason the sides agreed to a two-year, $19MM deal that covers Kershaw’s first two arbitration seasons (2012-13). They discussed the possibility of a four-year deal with a fifth year option before settling on two years, according to Hernandez. The 24-year-old Hendricks Sports client will be eligible for arbitration one more time following the 2013 season and eligible for free agency following the 2014 season.
Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said in May that he doesn’t intend to negotiate a longer deal with Kershaw during the regular season. Since then, the Dodgers have spent more than $430MM in player acquisitions, Hernandez writes. It won’t be surprising if Guggenheim Baseball Management, the team’s new ownership group, works aggressively to keep Kershaw in place long-term.
Kershaw has followed up his Cy Young season with a similarly dominant year. He leads National League pitchers with 186 2/3 innings, 183 strikeouts and two shutouts. His ERA has risen but remains under 3.00 at 2.84 and he continues to limit walks (2.1 BB/9). At this point in Kershaw’s career, he seems well-positioned to obtain a contract worth in excess of $100MM.