Thursday, April 4, 2013
Latest on Kershaw talks
By Doug Mittler
When Justin Verlander agreed to a seven-year, $180 million contract extension with the Detroit Tigers on Friday, the ripple effect was likely felt all the way out on the west coast, where the Los Angeles Dodgers are trying to work out a deal with Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw had reportedly set Opening Day as a deadline to complete an extension, but there was no word of any deal after he dominated the Giants on the mound (four-hit shutout) and with his bat (eighth-inning homer). Kershaw's agent, Casey Close, was at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, but a new deal between the Dodgers and their ace didn't appear imminent, reports Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
Now that Opening Day has passed, it remains to be seen if Kershaw still has any form of in-season deadline in mind.
Verlander was scheduled to be a free agent after the 2014 season, the same season as Kershaw. It is tough to make an apples-to-apples financial comparison since Verlander is 30 and Kershaw only turned 25 last month, but the $180 million deal had to be some form of benchmark in contract talks.
The Dodgers, as we have seen, are not afraid to spend money, and it seem highly unlikely they would be counting pennies with a Cy Young Award winner who entered the year with a 2.79 career ERA. But given that Kershaw is not a free agent for another two seasons, there is no reason to rush a deal, either.