Clayton Kershaw and 300 million reasons to remain a Dodger

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As you’ve probably heard by now, Clayton Kershaw had been offered a long-term deal worth around $300 million, according to Buster Olney of ESPN. It was reported earlier in the year that he was on the verge of agreeing to an extension, and then that talks were being had, but nothing ever came to fruition, and Buster spells out the reasons that might have been.

The Los Angeles Dodgers offered left-hander Clayton Kershaw essentially a lifetime contract in the range of $300 million — “an A-Rod deal” — earlier this season, according to a source with knowledge of its scope and structure.

The two sides were unable to finish negotiations, sources say, because Kershaw was initially uncertain about committing to a deal so encompassing, and about having contract talks during the season.

But the negotiations progressed enough that there is confidence among some with knowledge of the talks that a long-term deal — perhaps more conservative in length than the massive contract initially proposed by the Dodgers — will be concluded this winter, with a significant portion of money being devoted to a charity of Kershaw’s choosing.

So basically it’s rumored that he balked at the length and the timing. The timing I can understand, so if that’s really the reason then I’m sure they can get something hammered out this off-season. However, the length I don’t quite get. It either means he wanted to hit free agency again after this deal or was posturing for more money, but it’s hard to understand either perspective because of the sheer size of the rumored deal.

Wins on the free agent market are probably no longer priced at $5 million per, and are now upwards of $6+ million due to all the extensions given to young players, but even with that in mind this is a risk considering the deal is probably around 9-10 years.

To put his offer in perspective, here are the comparables:

C.C. Sabathia – 7 Years – $161 Million
Zack Greinke – 6 Years – $147 Million
Cole Hamels – 6 Years – $144 Million
Justin Verlander – 5 Years – $140 Million
Felix Hernandez – 5 Years – $135.5 Million

Kershaw’s offer is more than double the total contract of every other pitcher besides Sabathia, and will certainly be at least two to three years longer than the previous highs. I honestly can’t see a superior offer coming in, even on the open market.

Regardless, he’ll likely deserve whatever he gets, as he’s a consistent 6 WAR pitcher with an 8 WAR peak and will only be 26 next season, but I just hope this can get hammered out sooner than later.

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