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Report: Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw discussed record seven-year deal earlier this year

Aug 24, 2013, 4:20 PM EST

Clayton Kershaw Getty Getty Images

While contract talks between the Dodgers and ace Clayton Kershaw have been dormant for a couple of months now, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the two sides previously discussed a deal that would have given him the highest AAV (average annual value) in the history of the sport.

The idea nearly became reality earlier this season, when Kershaw was close to signing a record-setting, seven-year extension in the $210 million range, according to major league sources.

The Dodgers backed off, though, and the two sides have not negotiated in months, sources said. Talks are unlikely to resume until the offseason, and by then Kershaw’s price could be even higher.

The reported contract would have included an opt-out clause allowing Kershaw to test free agency after five years. Still, the structure of the deal carried an annual salary of around $30 million per season, topping Roger Clemens ($28 million – 2007) for the highest AAV ever. It also would have surpassed Justin Verlander‘s $180 million extension for the richest contract ever given to a starting pitcher.

Rosenthal first reported that the two sides were making progress on a deal back in June, though at the time it was described as a seven-year deal in excess of $180 million. Kershaw was peeved that word leaked out back then, so he probably won’t be thrilled to learn that more details have become public. The 25-year-old southpaw is arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter and could hit the free agent market next offseason.

  1. pinkfloydprism - Aug 24, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Of course they did. The Dodgers are also trying to sign me to a record contract. They are giving money away like they are the government!

    • Jeff M. - Aug 24, 2013 at 5:15 PM

      The Dodgers are trying to sign you, too? Do you also have an incredibly low ERA and a curveball described by Vin Scully as “public enemy #1?”

    • stercuilus65 - Aug 24, 2013 at 9:14 PM

      What’s the government’s era?

      • Jeff M. - Aug 25, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        I believe it’s 27.00

  2. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Aug 24, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    Kershaw is just great. Ned should shut his fat trap

  3. sandrafluke2012 - Aug 24, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Not worth it. No pitcher is worth it. Just trade him to the Orioles for Machado and Bundy

    • erbaodai - Aug 24, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      The only player I’d trade him for right now is Mike Trout, and that is unnecessary because we already got Kemp locked up.

      • erbaodai - Aug 25, 2013 at 12:36 AM

        Geez, what’s with the thumb downs? I think I mad a perfectly reasonable statement and didn’t really offend anyone…

      • mrpinkca - Aug 25, 2013 at 6:08 AM

        It’s not that you offended anyone. It’s the ludicrous idea that you would choose Matt Kemp over Mike Trout. It’s not 2011, Kemp is very injury prone, and even if he were healthy not close to as good as Trout.

      • erbaodai - Aug 25, 2013 at 10:54 AM

        Did I say Kemp was better than Trout anywhere in my statement? I just said it was unnecessary because we already have Kemp, thus making the outfield logjam even more startling.

    • stercuilus65 - Aug 24, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      He’s worth it. He’s the only player that’s worth it but he is worth it.

  4. scottp9 - Aug 24, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    CC Sabathia actually passed Clemens when he did his extension last year. $30m guaranteed for one additional guaranteed year.

    • gibbyfan - Aug 24, 2013 at 6:16 PM

      If true another huge mistake by NY

    • Kevin S. - Aug 24, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      I know that was the difference, but technically the contract isn’t structured that way.

      • scottp9 - Aug 25, 2013 at 12:18 AM

        Actually, the contract is structured exactly that way: straight one-year extension plus vesting option. It was reported as a new five-year contract, replacing the remaining four years on his previous deal, but that’s not actually what happened. He never voided the previous deal, he and the Yankees simply tacked on the additional years.

  5. jkaflagg - Aug 24, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    When Greinke got $25 million plus per year, my thought was “if they offer Kershaw anything less than $30 million per year, he should get up and walk out”…..younger and better than Grienke, plus a guy who has achieved all his accomplishments as a Dodger, not a Royal or a Brewer…..sounds as though the Dodgers understand and will not try and nickel-and-dime their best player after throwing around big bucks for everyone else…..

  6. sidelineshot - Aug 24, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    There we go again.
    General Managers acting like drunken sailors. Contracts like that become dead money after 3 years.
    A-Rod being the prime example … twice.

    • stercuilus65 - Aug 24, 2013 at 9:19 PM

      Assinine comparison in so many ways….age, position, relative dominance, history, peds etc…

  7. jimeejohnson - Aug 24, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Kershaw is the real deal. He’s going to get a king’s ransom from those big L.A. spenders, and he deserves it.

  8. sampleskaren - Aug 25, 2013 at 7:20 AM

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  9. sampleskaren - Aug 25, 2013 at 8:18 AM

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  10. Carl Hancock - Aug 25, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    I would typically never say give a pitcher such a large deal, but this is effectively a 6 year deal and not a 7 year deal given he’s arbitration eligible. He’s only 25! He’ll still be in his early 30’s at the end of a 7 year deal. THEN let someone else pay for his declining years. He’s probably one of the only pitchers, given his age, that I’d say do it. 7 years is better than 8 or even 10 from a risk standpoint. If he has another great year next season he will be looking at 8 and 10 year deals when he hits the market as crazy as that is. I’d rather sign Kershaw to this deal than what they gave Grienke.

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