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Felix Hernandez may help Clayton Kershaw get $200 million

Feb 7, 2013, 2:49 PM EDT

Clayton Kershaw Getty Getty Images

Felix Hernandez is close to signing a seven-year, $175 million deal with the Mariners, which would break CC Sabathia‘s record of $161 million for the largest contract ever given to a pitcher.

King Felix may not hold that record for long, however, because Clayton Kershaw has two seasons under the Dodgers’ control before he’s eligible for free agency and it’s hard to imagine Los Angeles not trying to lock him up before then. And considering how the Dodgers are throwing around money lately it’s even harder to imagine Kershaw not asking for more than Hernandez.

Kershaw will make $11 million this season and figures to approach $20 million next year in his final season of arbitration eligibility. He won the Cy Young award in 2011, finished runner-up last year while again leading the league in ERA, and won’t be 25 years old until next month. Throughout baseball history it’s hard to find many pitchers who were better and more accomplished than Kershaw at such a young age and the Dodgers have the highest payroll in baseball history with a television deal that all but guarantees a future of similar spending.

Not only can Kershaw use Hernandez’s $175 million deal as a starting point for any talks with the Dodgers, he might be able to use it as a way to top $200 million.

  1. Old Gator - Feb 7, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Yeah, but Kershaw already has the advantage of not pitching above a subduction zone.

  2. Reflex - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Kershaw is the one guy I think is probably worth more than Felix, especially once you factor in age. Price should be right below Felix, and Verlander probably a little bit less than that(only because he’s going to be 30 in his walk year).

    • Reflex - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      For the thumbs down, can anyone explain why my analysis is off base? Kershaw is a stud with great motion, incredibly young and a Cy under his belt(and probably a second one was deserved). Given that he’s younger than Felix, why wouldn’t he be worth more?

      If the thumbs are down for my analysis of Price and Verlander, can anyone tell me why? They are studs as well…

      • stercuilus65 - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:53 PM

        Your analysis is spot on Reflex. The only explanation is the cliche “Haters gonna hate”.
        I suspect they are Giants fans and maybe a few really immature Verlander fans.

      • Reflex - Feb 7, 2013 at 8:22 PM

        Bumgarner is on the cusp of making that list for me, but I don’t know how close he is to free agency, and I’d want to see another year like his last one first. Giants have fantastic young pitching, but I think Kershaw is by far the best individual pitcher in the NL currently, possibly in MLB.

  3. losanginsight - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Money is no issue for LA. $200 over 8 years sounds about right for a 24 yr old lefty that has a Cy Young and leads the league in era every year.

  4. kirkvanhouten - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    I’ve always wondered about the wisdom of locking up any pitcher long term, as pitchers seem far more likely to have their arms explode and become shells of themselves than position players do (consider that 2 or the 3 “most similar pitchers” through age 24 for Kershaw and Dean Chance and Gary Nolan).

    I have nothing other than anecdotal evidence to back up this claim, and would love to read any articles anyone may know about either confirming or disputing it…but in my head it seems like a whole hell of a lot can go wrong.

  5. illcomm - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    lol. no pitcher is worth 25 mil period. no player either. its ludacris. this coming from a Phils fan. 3-4 year Mac at that rate. something will happen or a player will regress. stupidity at its best.

    • manchestermiracle - Feb 8, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      You must be a communist who despises the free market or ignorant or maybe just jealous. Two of three? Clean sweep?

  6. uyf1950 - Feb 7, 2013 at 3:49 PM


  7. brianabbe - Feb 7, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    This explains why Nintendo released the Wii U last fall. It was just a fundraiser to pay King Felix.

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