Nov. 2: With the deadline now just over three hours away, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets that both sides are “optimistic” about reaching a new agreement. As Rosenthal points out, an extension prior to 4pm ET isn’t required for Kershaw to remain in L.A. into 2019 and beyond. Even after what seems to be a surefire opt-out, he could continue negotiating with the Dodgers, although other teams would then formally be allowed to pursue Kershaw as well.
Oct. 31: The Dodgers announced tonight that they’ve agreed to push back the deadline on Clayton Kershaw’s opt-out decision until Friday afternoon at 4pm ET. The original agreement in his contract was that he’d have three days after the end of the World Series, meaning a decision would have been due tonight. Kershaw has two years and $65MM remaining on his contract but has the right to opt out and enter the free-agent market.
There’s been persistent speculation that the two sides would simply reach an agreement to extend Kershaw’s current contract by a year or two, and it’s possible the extension of the deadline window was agreed upon with that very outcome in mind. Kershaw’s opt-out provision comes toward the end of what was at the time a record-setting seven-year, $210MM deal — the largest ever for a pitcher when he put pen to paper. (David Price has since topped that sum with a seven-year, $217MM deal.)
It’s long seemed logical that if an extension can’t be worked out, Kershaw would be able to earn more than that $65MM sum by opting out and testing free agency. While he’s spent time on the DL in each of the past three seasons, primarily due to back issues, he’s remained among the game’s most talented arms when healthy enough to take the field. And for all the talk about his durability since his initial back injury in 2016, Kershaw has averaged 25 starts and 162 innings per season (191 innings per season when factoring in the playoffs).
Kershaw, 30, has notched a ridiculous 2.26 ERA in that three-year stretch, and while he had a “down” season in 2018 by his Cooperstownian standards, he still pitched to a terrific 2.73 ERA with a sensational 155-to-29 K/BB ratio in 161 1/3 innings of work. Even a somewhat diminished Kershaw is among the most talented pitchers on the planet and would figure to command well in excess of $65MM in total on a free-agent contract. Perhaps that’d come with a lesser average annual value, but certainly in terms of overall contract value, his earning power outpaces the remainder of his contract.
Friday marks the formal end of the exclusive negotiating window that teams have with their own impending free agents. Even if Kershaw had opted out tonight, then, he would only have been able to further talk with the Dodgers for the next two days. Viewed through that lens, it’s somewhat natural to delay the deadline, as the only team he’d have been talking to for the next 48 hours is the Dodgers. Still, it’s easy to view this as a show of good faith from both sides that the two will eventually work something out.
Work it out already.
Have some patience. Odds are, CK wasn’t doing any negotiating during the WS, so they’ve only had a few days to nut something out – excluding actual breathing room for the guy to, you know, sleep and eat.
Everyone would be shocked for him to move on as he’s worth more to L.A. than anywhere else. His lackluster season ending confirmed this. No reason to need an extension in my view. That said there is no harm but I’m just surprised extensions are allowed under the CBA. They just aren’t common.
Then don’t think of it as an extension. Think of it as opting out into a longer term contract, since that’s what would really be happening.
Lack luster. The guy had one..ONE month where he was league average and it was his last month. You need a reality check.
KTM: Reality check? I think it’s you that needs to reflect in s mirror. He’s a great pitcher but his innings have become like Sale never mind his playoff history not matching his regular season success. The difference is the money owed. The only reason for L.A. to restructure us to lower the average salary for luxury tax purposes. I’m no expert there but the money already allocated is too much given the last two years have only averaged 160 or so innings. Does anyone think Sale is getting a Price type contract meaning both dollars and years next year? While the game has changed, Sale in my view needs to post 180 innings and a strong and healthy post season to command top dollars and a huge commitment in years.
Umm, he’s had more than a month. Plus, his 90mph fastball isn’t fooling anyone anymore. He’s hurt. He’s damaged goods. He’s not the CK of old, no matter how much you want to think he is.
Plus, he’s simply terrible in the post season
Luxury tax is based in overall value of his contract. Even if he backloaded it, the total average is counted against per luxury tax purposes.
Antibelt. I thought though it was averaged so that it made no difference front or back loading it. His two years left average $35m or so. If they give him $30m more for two additional years that would I thougjt average $25m per for tax purposes. No?
Funny that you would compare him to Sale who, despite his lack of innings pitched is still a Cy Young candidate. So what about his lack luster performance this year? Didn’t want to rebut that statement? Had to dredge up new issues that had nothing to do with my original refutation?
You may not like Kershaw in the post season, but you have to get there to win anything first.
Sounds like extension talks are ongoing.
Announcing an extension in 3…2…
The Dodgers will be spending somewhere around 200 mil this winter in order to, you know replace the guys they spent 2 billion for over the past 7 seasons. Half of the team’s production in the world series was traded for in season. They were able to hang on to Verdugo but turns out he is not good so stellar job front office. CK will probably be one of those guys they sign, but 30 mil+ a year is a lot to spend on a #2 or#3 SP moving forward. Hope its not more than 4 years for your team’s sake.
Turns out Verdugo is not good? Hot take
dimitrios in la
Yep, this deal gets done.
Opting out makes him more with lower risk. But what does expanding it do?
Sign of good faith from both sides in working towards an extension – without the ugliness of negotiating while he’s technically a FA.
It’s a strong sign CK wants to stay, so his preferences are probably different to a standard, go-where-I’m-paid FA.
Who’s paying him more? If anything, it’s the Dodgers that are being kind by negotiating a better deal for him than the two-year deal if he doesn’t opt out or him hitting the market with injury questions and a QO attached alternatively.
Since when were you allowed to do this?
Parties may alter an agreement at any time.
We’re still in the exclusive negotiating window that teams have with their own free agents — until Friday night. Kershaw’s contract was structured so he’d have to make a call before that time (a bit earlier than the industry standard, it seems), and since they haven’t been negotiating during the World Series, I’m sure both parties were comfortable pushing back closer to the end of the exclusive window.
It was included in the current contract. Very common now for elite professionals to demand opt-out options after 2 or 3 years. The length of the contract protects them against injury, but the opt-out also protects them if competing players’ contracts are starting to get bit up — as they always are in the MLB.. For CK, it’s a way to get that protection against injury extended another couple of years.
So if the player gets injured or goes downhill, he still gets a stars salary. But if he continues to play well, he re-negotiates as a free agent.
Have you noticed that only a few large market, big money teams can afford to do this? Small and middle markets are frozen out. The only exception I recall is the Marlins contract with Stanton. The new owners had to trade him for next to nothing. If he suffered an Ellsbury-type injury in 2018, the Marlins would have had to trade any player qualifying for arbitration else face bankruptcy for the next 5 years.
It’s the reason teams needing a slugger didn’t bid against the Red Sox for JD Martinez. Boras thought he could pit the Yankeee vs. the Red Sox. Again. But the Yankees traded players for Stanton instead – partially to get out of money owed Castro. Even large market teams can’t afford more then one large opt-out contract. Too risky.
Even with winning the W.S., do you thing Boston would have been upset if Price opted out? Even big money teams have limits. The Price money would have made it easier to bring back Kimbrel, Eovaldi, Pierce AND Kelly. Not saying tgey still can’t, want to or will but when Boston signed JDM, the talk was they knew he likely would opt out after next year and didn’t care. The contract is structured for him to opt out should it not be amended which seems likely.
teams can afford whatever they want, most owners are billionares
In reality, there is zero risk for the team that issue the opt out. The benefit MIGHT be one-sighted, but their is zero risk. What’s the alternative to issuing the opt out? A fully guaranteed contract. If Bryan Harper signs a 8 year deal and wants to opt out in the 4th year then so be it. If he wants to opt out then it means he’s likely had a few great years and feels like his value is as high or higher than when he signed. More than likely his value will decrease in the last 4 years of his deal. I’ll have gotten 4 all-star-ish seasons and can avoid the declining years and repurpose back into the payroll.
But then you’re banking on the Player and his Agent misreading the value of those declining years, and opting out when they shouldn’t.
Player opt-outs never favor the Team. You either lose the Player when they would have given surplus value and production on those remaining years, or you are saddled with the Player providing negative value on an underwater contract.
The Player Option can’t be looked at exclusively against a contract that would have had no opt-out, without recognizing the value of the contract changing in it’s absence, also.
Nope. The opt out carries a ton of risk. It used to be that’s what the player is making regardless of whether he is winning MVP’s, spending all the time on the DL and everything in between. Now it is if he outproduces the contract the team loses a player they had signed for below market value. And as far as getting out from under the decline years, if not for the opt out, if he played well and you wanted to “avoid the declining years and repurpose back into the payroll” you could do that by trading the player. Instead you lose him for nothing.
Yep. You will never find a player who opted out and his team is happy he did.
Yes. Price is well liked in Boston. Would have been a lot of unhappy people if he left
Not really. Price’s production (which is likely to decline) would be pretty easily replaced with the amount of extra money the Sox would have freed up if he did opt out, which is precisely why he didn’t.
“Even with winning the W.S., do you thing Boston would have been upset if Price opted out?”
Sure the Red Sox would be happy. But why would Price do that?
The only pro athlete that was way overpaid, still regressing, and delusional enough to opt out of his contract because he thought he was worth even more money, was Colin Kaepernick.
Except your assuming the player would sign for the same exact terms without an opt out. Reality is the agent is asking for more and the team in lieu of giving in financially offers the opt out. This is for most situations. An exception is when the player wants to protect against a situation where he or is family is unhappy (pretend this was last year, David Price was pitching well but still had those media issues – he might have triggered his opt out regardless of financial implications had he had one then).
If you had been paying attention you’d know that the odds of David Price opting out were effectively zero from the get-go. Ditto for every player for whom “his team really wouldn’t be all that upset if he opted out.”
Please stop saying this. It’s simply not true. What are the options? Guaranteed money with no opt out or guaranteed money with an opt out. There is NO PENALTY other than the player not returning.
If Stanton has 3 consecutive 50 hr years and then decided to opt out the Yanks would consider themselves lucky to have gotten 4 all-star caliper to MVP caliber years and are no free of the declining years and huge salary and can re purpose that money.
Just because a player is likely to opt out if he’s enjoying success yet NOT opt out because of poor performance or injuries does nothing to ADD risk on their end. The risk is there if he DOESN’T opt out because there’s bond to be a year to year attrition that will ultimately come at the backend of the deal.
When Arod opted out Cashman was happy. Unfortunately, Boras went over his head and negotiated directly with Randy Lerner and ownership to resign Arod. We all know how that went. The reality is, Arod was going to decline in those years regardless if he opted out or not. For Cash, the opt out would’ve been the chance to escape the financial responsibilities of the back end of that deal. And look to re-purpose the money elsewhere.
I won’t stop saying it and it’s completely true. The player not returning is a huge penalty because without the opt-out you would have the player signed for below market value.
No the Yankees would not consider themselves lucky if Stanton has 3 consecutive MVP-caliber years and then opts out. If he didn’t have an opt-out they would still be able to free themselves of the decline years and huge salary by trading him. Better to do that than to lose him for nothing!
Yes the player having an opt-out does add risk. Without the opt-out, if the player performs well, the team has a key contributor signed for below market value. With the opt-out all they have is the downside. Again, if he doesn’t have the opt-out and plays well, they can avoid that year-to-year attrition by trading him.
IIRC Cashman wasn’t happy at all when A-Rod opted out because the Rangers had agreed to pay part of his contract if and only if he didn’t opt out and when he opted out the Yankees lost that extra money. A-Rod under the terms of his original contract would have been a pretty good deal for the Yankees and even if they wanted to get out from under it, they would have been able to get value out of the contract via trade.
Bottom line, the opt-out can never help the team. If they want to “escape the financial responsibilities of the back end of that deal. And look to re-purpose the money elsewhere” they can do so by trading the player. If the player’s contract doesn’t have enough surplus value to be traded, then he’s not going to opt out. You are banking on a situation where the player opts out and signs for less money than he opted out of, which simply doesn’t happen.
The opt out is not the unusual part. The talks extension is.
He’ll be back
Just like the Terminator?
Sounds like good news/bad news. That extension talks are ongoing seems obvious which is the good news. That extra time is needed. makes me think the 2 parties far apart, and that’s the bad news.
Nah. I think it just means that CK is out with his family trick or treating and didn’t want to ruin family time with business.
I’m guessing Kershaw’s agent is more worried about getting his clients more money than he is about candy.
Also read: Kershaw probably isn’t doing much of the talking here.
Yeah Kersh is reupping with LAD
Makes sense to have Kershaw be a Dodger… and one might add Harper a National, though that seems less likely. Financially motivated migration of Hall of Famers is maybe not the best feature of modern baseball.
Class act but injured every year now and velocity going south – he be foolish to leave Dodgers although he is a Texan….. nah … he stays in LA.
I see what’s happening here!! Kershaw is in cahoots with MLBTR in order to up the clicks on the site!
A clever, clever ploy, MLBTR.
Cahoots Scoot N Boogie!
Go ahead and pay a 30 something over 30,000,000 a year who now regularly visits the DL. Really??
They already are paying him that. At least for the next 2 years unless he says “no thanks”.
Yep, the deal he ends up signing will be for his past performance, not future and that is really going to hurt down the road ala Pujols.
Its not going to hurt them at all. Pujols got a 10 year contract and we all know Kershaw will get nowhere near that
What’s more, Kershaw’s value to this franchise can’t be measured in statistics alone, though that would be a good place to start. Imagine the Dodgers allowing him to walk after another series wipeout. It would be a PR catastrophe.
Quite the opposite as his declining velocity, 3 injury filled years and bad WS performance make it easy for them to let him go and be praised by sports reporters.
An extension doesn’t necessarily mean paying him more per year for more years. He may want the security of 4-5 years and be willing to take that at a lower AAV. Even a reduced Kershaw is still better than most.
Sign him, trade him to Red Sox for Swihart……
That’s a good plan in 2020.
Rangers will overpay, if allowed to reach the open market.
Doubtful. I’ll believe Jon Daniels pays a pitcher $30 million a year, even $25 million a year, when I see it. Second, if Kershaw signs with the Rangers, he’s not even going to get near another chance to win a ring.
As long as the Dodgers remain equipped with their blue tinted sunglasses, they will extend and grossly overpay a 30 year old with a 36 year old body. Injuries mount, not lessen, and this might be a death knell for an organization that succumbs to the wishes of a pitcher with a horrific playoff record. Let the good times roll.
This organization flushed money down the drain on Cubans, the trio of McCarthey/Kazmir/Anderson and to have guys not play for them. I think they’ll manage with their future hall of famer making some bread
People focus on the unimpressive Cuban imports such as Alex Guerrero, Erisbel Arruebarena, and Yaisel Sierra, but the Dodgers’ luck with Cubans has been pretty damn good.
-Hector Olivera was used to acquire Alex Wood.
-Yusiel Diaz was used to acquire Machado.
-Yadier Alvarez had a poor season but still a legit prospect.
-Omar Esteves is a top-15 organizational spec.
Oh yeah dont get me wrong Puig and some guys panned out but the first 3 you listed were horrific and add up to a ton of money.
He’s not worth $30+ annually for more than 2 years anymore. FB velocity is waaaayyy down – he’s just not the same dominant pitcher he was a year or two ago. He’ll still have a few more VERY good seasons – but the perennial CY Award winner is gone (barring a Verlander-esque bounceback in velocity)
Two words: Greg Maddux.
3 words, not even close.
Three more words: missed the point.
Kershaw is not Maddux and orssilly to assume that he can just completely reinvent himself and remain an ace all of a sudden. It’s extremely rare.
Maddux is at the head of a long list of pitchers who adapted successfully to declining velocity over the course of their careers. So trying to make it all about velocity is just missing the point.
1. Nothing to do with Kershaw.
2. Maddux never changed his style.
Hopefully he takes a paycut dude sucks in playoffs. If not he and roberts can take there “talents” elsewhere.
^^^^^^^^^^ He might be mindless but he aint wrong. As long as they lock him up and keep him away from my Yankees I’m good.
Clayton Kershaw in the postseason, in his career: 155 IP, 122 Hits allowed, 44 BB, 165 Ks, 1.092 WHIP, The narrative is because we remember the bad starts – or at least the bad outcomes, without mentioning the defense and bullpen letting him down (fun fact – Ryan Madson allowed 5 runs to score while he was pitching in the WS and his ERA in that span was 0.00. ERA is misleading). Kershaw hasn’t been as good in the postseason as he has in the regular season, but he has alternated brilliant postseason starts with a few stinkers – like most pitchers who are, presumably, pitching against the best players in the world might occasionally suck. I think, because the postseason is inherently a small-sample crapshoot and narratives change quickly (see David Price just this season), it’s a better deal for a team to get regular-season Kershaw because getting to the postseason is paramount; after that, anything can happen.
Hey, get this insightful, well written, facts based garbage outta here. CK sucks!
He’s gonna opt out only to ask for a David price like deal same years little less money. 7/214ish
Or 6/210 with a team option for a 7th uear. Price just won a world series. He’d be stupid to opt out.
Five years, 100M. That’s all Kershaw is worth at soon to be 31 and a track record of garbage in the post season.
Really? Darvish last year vs. Kershaw this year. Who would you rather have? Darvish got 6yrs and $125M in what was considered to be a bargain (expected 6yrs $150M) because all the big players in the market were trying to reset or stay out of luxury tax. This year there are going to be more big players in the market hungry for an ace.
The loss in velocity is a red flag, but Kershaw still provided a quality start in 20 of 26 starts. That’s elite. No, Kershaw isn’t the best pitcher in all of baseball anymore so he’s not going to get 7-8yrs and $225-$275M, but he’s going to get a lot more than the 2yrs and $65M left on his contract.
He’ll have to decide to gamble he’ll be healthier and the velocity will rebound in the next 2 years (doesn’t opt out) or if he’s truly on the decline (opts out and signs his last major contract).
Mitigating the risk and reward potential for both sides, I am expecting a healthy base salary with significant performance bonuses covering the next five or six seasons.
My only issue with keeping him and finishing his career here in LA is that he needs to accept the fact that he is no longer the #1 pitcher in our staff.
Other than that: Go Clayton as a Dodger
old dodger fan
$150 over 5 years is what I expect.. It might be a 3 year extension or a new contract.. We will know something very soon.
That’s what I’m thinking too. Little less average per year…to make up for the now somewhat common downtime he has during the season. He bleeds Dodger blue.
Was nice seeing Sandy Koufax on TV at the game too. These guys make Brooklyn and LA proud!
If Kershaw opted out, the dodgers should be smart and let him walk. If Kershaw is stupid enough to walk away from a 2 yr salary that guarantees an AAV of $32.5 million, he’s clearly a greedy player. Kershaw is over the hill. On the open market, he would be lucky to get an aav of $20 million.
If he walks, I’d posit it’s not about the annual money, but the years, and maybe the chance to play for a new team.
As for greedy, I’d say most if not all players want the most money. I’d say we all do, ultimately.
LOL what the what is happening
He’s the best free agent pitcher, he’ll get more than Hamel’s option lol, easily.
He’s only like 30
Likely not about AAV. I personally despise the player opt out and long guaranteed contracts but it is what it is and he’s hardly a greedy player just because he wants to maximize earnings. Wouldn’t you?
If I’m Kershaw, the only way I’m staying in LA is if they slap another 3 years/$70M onto the current 2. 5 years/$135M or go sign with either the Rangers or Astros
Kershaw holds the better cards here. If the Dodgers don’t offer what Kershaw thinks he’s worth he opts out. Then the Dodgers have to bid against any other club desperate enough for pitching to throw a lot of money at him. It might be the smartest thing for LA to let him walk, but doing so could be extremely unpopular. Dodger fans, at least most of them, do not want to see Kershaw in any other team’s uni. Image Kershaw in pinstripes.
Hes getting 32.5m per for 2 years. Dodgers should offer 4 years max with a 5th year option. 4/120 with the 5th year at another 30m. Kershaws prob looking for 6-7 years which is why its stalling. I highly doubt i ever see Kershaw in any other uniform and dodgers have cash
Hardly stalling. World Series just wrapped up and those things take a little bit of time.
Dodgers need to move on from kershaw and let him go home so he can be a ranger!
Kershaw is the most important player in there team and is one of the best pitchers ever I don’t think they will “move on” from him.
Well …..then I guess dodgers can overpaid a guy who lost them the World Series.
Why would Dodgers continue to negotiate after Kershaw opts out? Make its BAFO today and tell Kershaw and his agent that it is off the table the moment he becomes a FA.