Dodgers Trying To Extend Kershaw This Week

2:07pm: Dodgers president Stan Kasten has confirmed that the club is looking to complete a deal with Kershaw in the near term, according to a tweet from Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. "I am hopeful that, by the [arbitration exchange] deadline Friday morning, we can work something out," Kasten said in reference to Kershaw.

Kasten also left the impression that a Kershaw extension would not preclude the club from pursuing Masahiro Tanaka, Shaikin further tweets. Though he declined to discuss the Japanese hurler, Kasten said that he does not "think any one contract impacts any other."

11:15am: ESPN's Buster Olney says Kershaw and the Dodgers are "at the two- or the one-yard line" in terms of completing a record-setting extension (video link).

8:28am: The Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw are discussing an extension, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, who reports that the team would like to have an agreement in place by Friday. Los Angeles' preference is to have a deal in place by the time the two sides are set to exchange arbitration figures.

Rosenthal reports that the two sides were close on a seven-year, $210MM extension last season before the Dodgers backed off and adds that early in the negotiation process, a 10-year, $250MM contract and a 12-year, $300MM pact were discussed. Rosenthal also reports that the near-agreement last season contained an opt-out after the fifth year that would've allowed Kershaw to hit the open market again at age 30. The Dodgers gave Zack Greinke an opt-out after three years of his deal, and Kershaw has the same agency — Excel Sports Management.

Kershaw is fresh off his third straight National League ERA title and his second Cy Young in three years, having pitched to a 1.83 ERA in 2013. Over the past five seasons, Kershaw has pitched to an incredible 2.43 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9, and his command has improved in each of those seasons. He averaged nearly five walks per nine innings as a 21-year-old in 2009 but averaged just two per nine innings last season. Kershaw's accomplishments make it seem as though he's older than he actually is, but incredibly, he's still entering just his age-26 season.

As MLBTR's Tim Dierkes noted back in April, CC Sabathia's $161MM guarantee is the largest "new money" extension ever signed by a pitcher, though Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez have had larger guarantees that included the money from previously existing deals. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected an $18.2MM salary for Kershaw next season if the two sides simply work out a one-year deal via arbitration, but a long-term deal would obviously require a significantly larger annual value.


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173 Comments on "Dodgers Trying To Extend Kershaw This Week"


Jorden
1 year 7 months ago

Rumored 10 year ~30M per. Wow.

1 year 7 months ago

Yeah – and why bother with an opt-out at that altitude? Not sure many others would even try to match it.

Lionel Bossman Craft
1 year 7 months ago

The way price of pitching has increased so much over the years he might be able to get a bigger payday. Elite pitching is hard to come by in FA, look at this years crop. The Phillies, Angels, Yankees, or the Red Sox could make a play for him.

mrcourt123
1 year 7 months ago

Because, due to how young he is, in 5 years Kershaw will likely be able to field 7-8 year offers, giving him guaranteed huge money for 12 or 13 years, rather than 10. Opting out in your prime (it’s scary to think he might not have hit his prime yet) is ideal because he could land another potentially massive payday.

Bleed_Orange
1 year 7 months ago

Also he may want to add years to the contract so secure a payday into his 40’s and the opt out would give him the leverage to do that.

FS54
1 year 7 months ago

WOW! I am not sure whether he does not deserve it.

$3513744
1 year 7 months ago

if someone’s willing to pay him that, why doesn’t he deserve it?

Adrian Garcia
1 year 7 months ago

Would more than likely not be worth a deal like this, but it beats the alternative of him walking
of course it’s ridiculous, but has to be done

Jorden
1 year 7 months ago

8 yr deal would have been perfect. The cost of locking him up now vs fighting for him next season is that extra 2 years.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

Why would he want that though?
It drops him at free agency again at 33-4, not really an ideal time. Unless they willing to give an opt out.

Karkat
1 year 7 months ago

Opt-outs are crazy. You’re basically signing a player to a short contract but telling him that if his skill declines, he can stay around longer and earn more money

mrcourt123
1 year 7 months ago

“Crazy” is often necessary when trying to sign elite talent. Kershaw has most of the bargaining power here. There’s only 1 Kershaw, but there are 30 MLB teams. Each of the 30 teams knows that 1 of the others is going to give the player what he wants. So if you want to sign guys like Kershaw (or Pujols or Cano, etc.) you’ve got to be willing to do something crazy like go long-term when you know the last few years will be a sunk cost, or give the player an opt-out and risk those final bad years for the upside of at least several good ones.

Comfy_Wastelander
1 year 7 months ago

Yeah, the team is already taking all the risk with a long, guaranteed contract. If the player somehow outperforms his giant salary or salaries overall surprisingly skyrocket, the team still loses out on a chance to make the long term deal look good because the player can just bail. The team will likely always end up extending the player again at the opt-out phase and get stuck guaranteeing huge money even further down the road.
These deals are always hard for me to rationalize from the teams’ side, but -wow – they are a crazy-good deal for the players.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

I’m sure the teams argue for paying less annually in exchange for taking the additional risk of an op-out clause. Nobody gets anything for free.

Comfy_Wastelander
1 year 7 months ago

It doesn’t seem like it though. The salaries don’t seem to be below market value in any of the opt-out deals I can think of anyway. I could be wrong.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

I would not say that the teams don’t understand that they are assuming most of the risk by giving players an opportunity to opt out if the market for the services improves. We may not easily see how this is reflected in the salary, but it must be.

Comfy_Wastelander
1 year 7 months ago

I never said that teams don’t understand the risk. I just said that it is hard for me to understand it from their side. A-Rod and Sabathia didn’t sign at discounted rates.
Really, I say good for the players (and their agents) for getting these deals. I like it when players get tons of money. They are a lot more fun to watch than the owners.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

The problem is your assumption that you know what they would have been paid without the opt-out clause. All you can say, all anyone can safely say, is it would have been more. That is unless you seriously believe that teams are totally willing to accept all the risk for nothing whatsoever in return.

Comfy_Wastelander
1 year 7 months ago

This might be the dullest conversation I’ve ever been in.
Either you aren’t reading my posts very well or you just like creating strawmen to argue with. Each of your posts put words in my mouth and you seem to be scolding me for stuff that YOU are saying. I’m not sure who or what you are debating, but I hope it works out for you.
You can have the last word. This is just way too tedious to keep responding to.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

You are assuming that the teams are giving away these opt-outs for free. I seriously doubt it.

TheRealRyan
1 year 7 months ago

I agree with comfy that it doesn’t seem like teams are getting a discount for opt outs. I also agree with you that teams aren’t giving these away just for free. To me, they seem more like sweeteners in getting contracts signed than true discounts. That is a lot of risk that gets put back on the team, rather than being shared by both parties signing long term deals.

Comfy_Wastelander
1 year 7 months ago

I think the opt-out is the new no trade clause. It’s a status symbol that gets added to show off true elite status.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

If the team is assuming more risk, and I agree that they are when they give the player an opt-out, then it has to be in exchange for some sort of quid pro quo. Maybe the player agrees to pay for an insurance policy against his ability to preform. I don’t know. I just know the teams aren’t just giving away something that, in the case of Kershaw, could easily cost them $60M for nothing.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

But maybe you better in the end.
If Kershaw is still elite say if his opt out is in 5 years, you got 5 years of him without a decline, and can then cut ties.

Karkat
1 year 7 months ago

Yeah, it takes a “crazy” amount of talent to command that sort of compromise

dieharddodgerfan
1 year 7 months ago

I think opt outs are fine.

Lets say Kershaw has an opt out after 5 years and pitches 5 great seasons for the Dodgers.

If he opts out, then the Dodgers can re-sign him to an extension or let him walk. If he walks, the Dodgers still got 5 great years.

Let’s say Kershaw’s next 5 years are very good, but not as good as his last 5 years. Then, Kershaw can opt to stick with his contract and the Dodgers still have a very good Kershaw who is only 30 and likely has a few good years left in him.

Obviously worst case is Kershaw gets injured early into the contract, but that’s worst case for any contract.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Over or under $275 million?

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

Eh, I’m split. Want to say that I don’t expect him to completely blow Verlander and Felix’s contracts out of the water, but on the other hand he will be 26, so it wouldn’t be that hard for a team to sign him for more than 10 years.

In the end I think I will take the under, with an opt out, that in the end can net him more than the 275, but on another contract.

$3513744
1 year 7 months ago

over. $400 :)

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

It better be over $400.

$3513744
1 year 7 months ago

highway robbery if it’s not

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

If he can get either of those, he really is nuts to turn them down. He could always get hurt this year and his value would just drop.

brian310
1 year 7 months ago

Please take them out of Tanaka sweepstakes! They still have to lock up Hanley too.

Jorden
1 year 7 months ago

Dodgers wanting the Kershaw deal done this week, doesn’t indicate removing themselves from Tanaka sweepstakes.

If anything it seems like they are positioning themselves for it.

rct
1 year 7 months ago

It sounds like a lot of money and ridiculous, but so do a lot of deals. The thing about the long-term deals is that the game and market changes so much over that time. Sure, a 12 yr, $300MM deal would have Kershaw making $25MM when he’s like 37, but it seems like only yesterday (16 years ago) that people were losing their minds over Kevin Brown’s $105MM contract.

I don’t have much of a point except to say that things change so much in sports, especially in sports contracts.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

Yes, but the very elite contracts haven’t yet been increasing at the same level as the good but not elite. 5 years or so ago Ellsbury would probably get 15M, now he getting 22M. But Elite Arod got 25M back in 2000, and 10 years later an elite Pujols only got 24M. I think we need the next batch of Trout/Harper to become free agents before we see the next record breaking contracts.

rct
1 year 7 months ago

I agree with you. But also, Arod sort of broke things wide open and destroyed the previous high (which I think was like around $17MM, which $25MM is like a 47% increase on).

Now that many players are reaching Arod money, it’ll be interesting in the next few years (especially with the influx of new TV money) to see how far player salaries skyrocket.

nepp
1 year 7 months ago

Kershaw for $30 M AAV, Tanaka for another $20 M AAV and resign Hanley for another $20 M AAV…that’d be a payroll around $265 M roughly (obviously the AAV calculation would be a bit different)
Add in the luxury tax penalty and that’s around $300 million probably. Sadly they could probably still turn a nice profit even at that level.

grabarkewitz
1 year 7 months ago

Even with those contracts, none will be signed past their age 36 season. No paying some guy who is 43 $20+ million dollars. The scary thing is with that TV contract, they can still add a big contract at the deadline if they need a quick fix. If they do ink Tanaka and the more I read the more likely it looks like it will happen, they have some movable pieces if they are willing to eat substantial salary. Sure, it won’t affect the payroll much, but trading a Beckett or Ethier will add what Kasten wants, more young affordable prospects for the farm.

nepp
1 year 7 months ago

It’s pure insanity…but not really bad business on their part as they’re still turning a profit.

DieHardMsFan
1 year 7 months ago

Sorry to break it to you but no team will give up a good prospect for Beckett even if the Dodgers pay most of his salary. Likewise for Ethier as he is now a platoon player…. No way teams will give up cost controlled young talent for those two….

MadmanTX
1 year 7 months ago

Kershaw will say no because he wants to go back to Texas and be a Ranger.

Fallo
1 year 7 months ago

Nope. What he wants is a shorter contract. 165/5 is my guess

Jorden
1 year 7 months ago

Close. He wants the long contract, but able to opt out after 4-5 years.

Anthony Hughes
1 year 7 months ago

Totally agree. He wants the opt out. That’s what this negotiation is about. Dodgers are more than willing to give him the AAV he wants. If it’s an 8-10 year deal for a crazy-high AAV, he’s set no matter what. He wants the ability, though, to become a free agent again at around 30-31, so that if the industry’s salaries continue to go way up, he can renegotiate again, a la Sabathia with the Yankees.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

$200M+ to live in Los Angeles, why would he want to go to Texas??

NC
1 year 7 months ago

Cap Time?

$3513744
1 year 7 months ago

no

Vmmercan
1 year 7 months ago

My guess is they want it done by Friday so they know they don’t have to offer a contract on Tanaka. Thus making Tanaka a Yankee.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Don’t be surprised to see the Angels make a huge offer to Tanaka as well.

Vmmercan
1 year 7 months ago

I never bought into Mariner or D back rumors and I think the Yankees have a leg up on the Cubs.

It really only leaves Angels, Dodgers and Yankees (I had a dark horse of the Giants but they don’t seem involved). If this theory is right, it leaves Angels and Yankees, which I’ve been going back and forth in a previous thread about. If he chooses the Angels it will be purely based on location to me and I still maintain, if the Yankees want to, they will outbid the Angels enough where it won’t matter. But that’s IF they want to.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Don’t leave out the famous Mystery Team too

Vmmercan
1 year 7 months ago

If the Phillies sign him, I may jump off a roof somewhere.

Karkat
1 year 7 months ago

MYS always seems to make a splash, but when’s the last time they won a title?

Spencer James
1 year 7 months ago

They’re always the favorites to sign someone. I mean who wouldn’t want to join the MYS, they have yet to lose a ballgame!

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

Especially if his Celebrity wife wants to try to bring her career to the states. She is best off in LA or NY.

Trock
1 year 7 months ago

I think it’s the Dodgers, Yankees or Cubs. Do not count the Cubs out. It really all depends on what Tanaka wants. If he isn’t really concerned about ‘contending’ right away, I expect the Cubs to outbid the Yankees if given the opportunity. If its about purely money, its either the Dodgers or Cubs.

vtadave
1 year 7 months ago

They probably more want to avoid going to arbitration with a guy who should arguably have won the last three NL Cy Youngs. Can you imagine trying to defend a lower salary for a guy like Kershaw?

Vmmercan
1 year 7 months ago

Lol, you can’t, I agree. But something tells me giving a guy around $300 million compared to maybe 20-25 million means a little more than trying to avoid arb.

Kendrick Melo
1 year 7 months ago

You could be god, but at this time I do not give a 10 year contract.

Marktown
1 year 7 months ago

Wait to hit free agency then come be a Ranger! Come home, Clayton. Come home!

A fella can dream can’t he?

NoAZPhilsPhan
1 year 7 months ago

In that case…Come home Mike Trout…come home…LOL

Brien Alley
1 year 7 months ago

So if they sign Kershaw for $300 million and end up signing Tanaka the Dodgers could end up spending half a billion dollars on two guys this week.

vtadave
1 year 7 months ago

Don’t see Tanaka getting $200 million.

Vmmercan
1 year 7 months ago

$400 million is way more realistic.

Brien Alley
1 year 7 months ago

I’ve read that Tanaka bids are up to $140 million plus the posting fee of $20 million. $200 million is not out of the question of what the ending cost might be when you include incentives.

Vmmercan
1 year 7 months ago

Source? I would be shocked if he got even within 25 million of 200 million with or without incentives.

dieharddodgerfan
1 year 7 months ago

$200 million?! To Tanaka?!

Lol, if it even gets to $140 mill. then I really hope the Dodgers are not in the conversation.

IMO, that’s at least $40 mill more than what I think is a worthwhile risk, for any team.

Vmmercan
1 year 7 months ago

Nice, now that Kershaw was signed for $215 million, you can feel free to explain to me how both of them comes anywhere near $500 million:)

Brien Alley
1 year 7 months ago

Wow, you’ve really been thinking about me all day haven’t you?

Vmmercan
1 year 7 months ago

Exactly one time. When Kershaw was extended.

Brien Alley
1 year 7 months ago

Right. But if you read above our debate was on Tanaka not Kershaw. Had Kershaw gotten the $300 that was earlier reported and that you had no debate of… call me when Tanaka is signed.

Vmmercan
1 year 7 months ago

Well no, if you read further above you’ll see our debate was you said it would take 500 million to get Tanaka and Kershaw and I said more like $400 million. Whether Kershaw got his $300 million or not doesn’t matter a lot because you were automatically assuming that was your starting point. If Tanaka goes for $185 million or less, I’m going to be quite accurate and unless he makes more than Kershaw, I’m afraid you won’t be.

Lionel Bossman Craft
1 year 7 months ago

If the Dodgers say they will not be outbid by anyone (including the Yankees) for Tanaka, they will be spending in the neighborhood of $140 million for him not including the posting fee.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

The quotes from people who are actually associated with the Dodgers have not said that, but in fact just the opposite.

steve2345
1 year 7 months ago

i can’t think of a $200+ million contract that has ever worked out in favor of a team. even the most recent ones are already not looking good. i know this is Kershaw, but the fact that $300 was/is being discussed is a bit ludicrous.

vtadave
1 year 7 months ago

There have only been six – Arod 2X, Pujols, Cano, Fielder, and Votto. Yeah it’s ludicrous, but so is the thought of a rich franchise letting their marquee player walk.

Erik Trenouth
1 year 7 months ago

A-Rod the first time worked production wise, especially for the Rangers, although they spent too much on him and not enough on the rest of the team. Votto and Cano haven’t had a chance to play for their new contracts yet, while Fielder and Pujols haven’t lived up to their contracts in either year. But for all big contracts, they are getting paid for what they have done before as well as a hope for the future.

DieHardMsFan
1 year 7 months ago

To be honest A-Rods first contract was actually worth it..it is the second 275 million dollar contract that the Yankees are now regretting ever giving ARod

brian310
1 year 7 months ago

They’ve got to start caring about money at some point right?

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

I’m sure they care about it right now. If they didn’t care about it, they’d have extended Kershaw and Hanley and signed Tanaka already.

Comfy_Wastelander
1 year 7 months ago

I really can’t wait to see the numbers on this. This situation is the perfect storm for a record-shattering contract: dominant, young starting pitcher on a team that has all the money in the world. Throw in Kershaw’s extensive charity work and easy Koufax comparisions and he looks like the perfect guy for the Dodgers to throw all their money at.
I hope he gets a billion dollars.

Ron Loreski
1 year 7 months ago

I don’t care how young he is, its stupid to sign any pitcher beyond 7 years.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

“ESPN’s Buster Olney says Kershaw and the Dodgers are “at the two- or the
one-yard line” in terms of completing a record-setting extension”

Give it 24 hours, otherwise it’s a delay of game and a 5 yard penalty and back to the 6 or 7 yard line

Commander_Nate
1 year 7 months ago

You know the news is legit once references to other sports start popping up.

lefty177
1 year 7 months ago

I was wondering if they were on their own 1-yard line or the other team’s?

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

A-Rod’s first contract actually ended up very well and in terms of WAR/$ he was underpaid 2001-2010, $250 mil, 69.6 WAR in that span and if they did $5 mil/1.0 WAR, that’s $348 mil.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Kershaw got at or near the amount he get (let’s assume it’s $30 mil a year)