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Clayton Kershaw upset about word of contract talks leaking, blames the Dodgers front office

Jun 16, 2013, 3:22 PM EDT

clayton kershaw getty Getty Images

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported late Saturday night that the Dodgers have made significant progress toward finalizing a seven-year contract extension with left-hander Clayton Kershaw that will wind up being worth “well above” $180 million.

So the young ace was asked about those contract talks before Sunday afternoon’s series finale vs. the Pirates. Courtesy of Los Angeles Times beat writer Dylan Hernandez, here was Kershaw’s response:

“I think the reason we’ve been able to continue discussions for this long is that it’s not been talked about,” Kershaw told reporters. “And now that I’m having to talk about it, it’s a distraction because people are talking about it. I guess you’ll have to talk to the Dodgers as to why it came out now. I don’t love the fact that I have to talk about it.”

“We kind of had an agreement that we weren’t going to talk about it. It didn’t come from our side. I’m going to still hold up my end of the bargain and not talk about it.”

“I don’t know,” concluded Kershaw when asked if the leak might affect the pace of the discussions.

The star 25-year-old has registered an outstanding 1.84 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 104/31 K/BB ratio in 107 1/3 innings this season. He is currently scheduled to become a free agent after the 2014 campaign.

  1. flamethrower101 - Jun 16, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Can’t blame him for this if it is true and the office did leak it. But also can’t imagine that the front office will be too happy with his response if it turns out Clayton’s wrong. Unfortunately, we may never know, and ultimately this may end up being a footnote in what we expect to be the largest deal ever for a pitcher.

    • dickclydesdale - Jun 16, 2013 at 5:31 PM

      What a spoiled brat. They are giving him $200 million to pitch on a last place team & he does not want to be asked about it. How about we send him to shine shoes for pennies in the Dominican then no one will care who he is or ask him about his business. Suck it up Clay, having your contract talked about is part of the business you are in.

      • djpostl - Jun 16, 2013 at 11:53 PM

        Or how about they shut the fuck up, keep him happy and don’t let him hit the open market?

        Last time I checked they had better get that extension signed or Boston, LAA, NYY, Tex, Chi, Det and any market with a rich owner will back up the Brinks truck for a shot at him as a free agent.

        The Dodgers could completely leave the equation and it won’t cost him a red cent. His value is through the roof.

        Only one party has any leverage and it ain’t the Dodgers.

  2. stoutfiles - Jun 16, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    How many long, expensive pitching contracts work out in favor of the team? If there are some it can’t be that many. Pitching is important but an injury or two and you’re never the same.

    • Kevin S. - Jun 16, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      Actually, they work out reasonably often for true aces.

    • tuberippin - Jun 16, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      It’s a more recent movement where teams are giving long-term extensions to pitchers that are a couple or several years away from their 30th birthday, which is about the age at which most starters who hit the FA market end up getting bloated deals that pay them for past performance more than expected future production. You see this with guys like Johan Santana, for example.

      This is a little different with a guy like Kershaw or a guy like Felix Hernandez. They’re both young (Clayton’s 2.5yrs younger than Hernandez), both have a track record of success, and both are “true aces,” as opposed to guys who get #1-starter money in free agency but are realistically not #1 starters (Lackey, Matsuzaka, arguably Greinke). In these cases, you’re paying more for expected growth and future production than you are for past production. Whereas you’re expecting a FA pitcher at or over age 30 to maintain their level of production for a couple years before tailing off, you’re expecting a Kershaw or Hernandez to continue to get better and then hit their peak by the end of the deal.

      I do agree that clubs should stick to a hardline stance of no deals beyond 4-5 years for a pitcher (and ideally a 3 year max), but it’s hard to stand on that principle when other ball clubs are willing to bend that rule to get a guy who might be a crucial difference-maker.

  3. yankeepunk3000 - Jun 16, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    why is he so upset? the guy is going to.get a 200 million dollar contract soon, shouldn’t that be enough? your one of the most talented baseball players in the game. Don’t be a baby. this will probally make the dodgers freak a bit and add either a year or more cash to the contract to make sure he stays happy.

    • kingscourt25 - Jun 16, 2013 at 4:42 PM

      I assume being constantly asked about your contract situation during the season is somewhat annoying. I think this is why he waned to keep the talks under wraps and away from the media.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 16, 2013 at 4:58 PM

        All he had to say was “I won’t comment about that, ever.” Repeated once or twice and even the most intrepid reporters will move on.

  4. km9000 - Jun 16, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    So, Clay… Wanna talk about it?

  5. decimusprime - Jun 16, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Leave 22 alone, he is doing the right thing…He and the team made an agreement to not openly talk about this contract because it will be the biggest in history. He knows what a media frenzy it’ll be and he’s a humble kid. Team first. Why do you think he isnt talked about more? He is in the top 1% of pitchers in baseball. Worth every penny!

  6. Kevin Gillman - Jun 16, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    So does he want to talk about it, or what?

  7. championsleaguer - Jun 16, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    So that’s the last thing Dodger fans wanted to hear …. grief!

  8. MyTeamsAllStink - Jun 16, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    They’ll sign him to the richest deal in history.And then he’ll need Tommy John.Bcause that’s been the Dodgers luck lately :(

  9. bchapman2011 - Jun 16, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    I am so damn frustrate MW the the Dodgers. They have seen the Yankees blueprint of getting to buy championships blow up in their face for years. Even Hank Steinbrenner and Cash man have realized their errors and have started to slow down spending. Despite all of this the Dodgers have spent like fools to try and keep up with another idiot franchise..the Angels. What makes matters even worse is the fact that they plan on blowing a lot more cash this off season. Dodger president told a reporter this week that the team plans on signing two more 200 million dollar player contracts.Kershaw will be one of the contracts and he is worth every penny but what other player are you going to sign to a contract that pays them 25 million per year until age 45? Stupid. Stupid. Stupid

  10. thomastt - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Let’s face it. This is the LA Dodgers who haven’t won jack since 1988.
    What did you expect????

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