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Olney: Dodgers offered Clayton Kershaw a $300 million contract concept earlier this year

Oct 19, 2013, 6:45 PM EDT

Clayton Kershaw AP

With starter Clayton Kershaw set to enter his third and final year or arbitration eligibility this off-season, the Dodgers are expected to offer their ace a long-term contract extension. Kershaw is the presumptive NL Cy Young award winner. If he should earn the hardware, it would be his second such honor in three years. As the best pitcher in baseball, statistically speaking, Kershaw is expected to earn a lot of money.

ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that, earlier this season, the Dodgers talked to Kershaw about a contract that could approach or exceed $300 million:

If it were to come to fruition, it would make Kershaw the highest-paid player in baseball. The Dodgers have plenty of money to play around with, as Frank McCourt sold the Dodgers to the Magic Johnson group for over $2 billion nearly two years ago.

The Dodgers already have over $163 million committed to players for the 2014 season, and already have over $120 million on the books for each of the 2015, ’16, and ’17 seasons. Locking Kershaw up would already give them at least five players to whom they owe at least $20 million through 2017.

In his six-year career, the 25-year-old has posted a 2.60 ERA in 1,180 innings. He has led the league in ERA and WHIP three years running. Despite the unfortunate ending to the Dodgers’ season in Game 6 of the NLCS, Kershaw had been great for them in the post-season as well, posting three quality starts in as many opportunities in the 2013 NLDS and Game 2 of the NLCS.

  1. jcmeyer10 - Oct 19, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Mr. Kershaw, someone named Tim Lincecum is on Line 1.

    • mkprz - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:00 PM

      Mr. Kershaw, some one named ‘batting support’ just hung up.

      • jcmeyer10 - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:00 PM

        But not before breathing heavily into the phone. It got weird.

    • ike73 - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:36 PM

      Barry Zito is on line 2

      • jcmeyer10 - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:47 PM

        In the background you could hear the lyrics, “oh ohh, take the money and run”. No idea why but that’s Zito’s favorite song.

    • dickclydesdale - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:01 PM

      Apparently these baseball idiots in ownership have learned nothing about the A-rod contract debacle. $300 million for a guy that gets outpitched twice by a rookie in the NLCS. BWAHAHAHAHAHA

  2. chill1184 - Oct 19, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Dude is going to get paid

  3. yankeepunk3000 - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    if he waits till next year to get his 10 year 300 million he will be turning 27 so more then likely the first 5 years of his deal will go well. the rest is all a gamble but of all the huge contracts given out this one seems to have the most upside.

  4. chiadam - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    No pitcher should ever get more than five years on a contract. You don’t know how long he will hold up. Just look at the list of “best pitchers in the game” before him that couldn’t sustain that level (Johan Santana, Halladay, Lee, Sabathia, Cole, Lincicum, Cain, Beckett) and tell me why anyone feels comfortable paying him $30 mill a year for the next decade.

    • jcmeyer10 - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:49 PM

      They should have been paying him 30 million a year for the last five. Now it’s a crap shoot.

    • mgdodgers - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:40 AM

      Outstanding point.
      I’ve met him a few times in person. He strikes me as a very weird and c-nty person.
      People always counter with, “THE CHARITY WORK IN AFRICA!!!”
      Yeah, great. His wife does a lot of heavy lifting and he puts a face on it. I don’t really care about p.r.
      I go by impressions of someone in person. CRAZY of me, I know.

  5. mikejr80 - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    No Pitcher or Player should ever should demand a 300 million dollar contract. The body breaks down and its impossible to live up to it

    • jcmeyer10 - Oct 19, 2013 at 8:00 PM

      No, no team should ever pay it. Can’t blame a player for asking. 😀

      • mikejr80 - Oct 19, 2013 at 8:05 PM

        No I don’t but its idiotic to even ask. On what grounds does he make his argument for 300 mil lol

      • jcmeyer10 - Oct 19, 2013 at 8:11 PM

        Kershaw has a decent argument but now we just having fun.

      • gibbyfan - Oct 19, 2013 at 9:13 PM

        Mike–his grounds would be someone will pay it………I agree tha thte amount seems absurd but if someone is willing to pay, even it is “stupid’ to do so……….can’t blame him for going for it–prtty sure any of us would if we could.

    • bendover09 - Oct 19, 2013 at 9:42 PM

      Why are you against players getting paid ? Would you rather the billionaire owner to keep getting richer while one player can make a heck of a lot difference than you do by helping his town. Most players give back to their community .. what do you do ? Im all for players getting paid , they should bc they’re the gladiators bringing in the money, not the foreign owners..

      • mikejr80 - Oct 19, 2013 at 9:45 PM

        If you’re going to go that route taking shots at owners. They actually worked a real job to get their money. No player deserves that much money to play a kids game lol

      • American of African Descent - Oct 19, 2013 at 9:59 PM

        That’s right, Mike. None of those owners inherited their wealth, LOL!

        Also, professional baseball is not a “kids game.” I will actually spend time to watch the professionals — I would not spend time to watch your rug rat play little league.

  6. coloradogolfcoupons - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Sign now, Clayton. If you go back to Africa and your charitable work, lots of bad can happen. I worked there for 2 years (in Nigeria), and it’s extremely dangerous. Sign before you go back, so if you get eaten by a lion your wife will still get paid

    • beefytrout - Oct 19, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      this is the weirdest comment I have ever read here.

      • yahmule - Oct 19, 2013 at 9:30 PM

        You realize some people will interpret your comment as a dare, don’t you?

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 19, 2013 at 8:45 PM


    • thebestfaninbaseball - Oct 19, 2013 at 9:23 PM

      It takes a steely-nerved agent to get the “lion clause” written into a contract.

      • jcmeyer10 - Oct 19, 2013 at 11:00 PM

        Why is this comment not getting more love?!

    • yahmule - Oct 19, 2013 at 9:28 PM

      Lions show Kershaw nothing but love. His best friend growing up was Matthew Stafford.

    • drewy44 - Oct 19, 2013 at 11:07 PM

      Nigeria doesn’t seem all that bad. After all, I get dozens of emails from Nigerians willing to give me millions of dollars every week in return for small, non-sexual (allegedly) favors. Seems gracious, not dangerous.

  7. albertmn - Oct 20, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Unless or until the owners would get a max contract length rule, some team will always be willing to offer these really long contracts. Doesn’t the NHL and/or NBA have a max length for contracts? It is fine to throw a lot of money per season at a really good player, but it is the 8 or 10 year deals that get teams in trouble.

  8. jimeejohnson - Oct 20, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    Dodgers are going to throw very big money at this guy. If they don’t do it, somebody else will.

  9. rcali - Oct 21, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    He needs to sign this type of contract asap. That elbow is likely to be operated on in a year or so and that sucks for all of us who love watching a talent like him pitch.

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