The Dodgers left a trail of dollar signs all the way to their spring training camp at Camelback Ranch this year. But it doesn't seem likely there will be another big expenditure before Opening Day.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw shook his head in the negative when asked Tuesday if there had been any overtures from the Dodgers to open talks on a contract extension and said he does not want to discuss contract matters once the season starts. That leaves just a little more than a six-week window to negotiate what could be the most lucrative contract ever given to a pitcher.
"I don't think I'm going to let it go into the season – if it happens at all," Kershaw said as Dodgers pitchers and catchers reported for spring training Tuesday. "I'm not saying, 'Get it wrapped up' or anything. I'm just saying, during the season, I'm not talking about it."
Kershaw will make $11 million this season in the second year of a two-year, $19 million deal and is not eligible for free agency until after the 2014 season. But Dodgers GM Ned Colletti acknowledged earlier this off-season that he hoped to lock his ace into a multi-year contract extension.
"It hasn't changed," Colletti said Tuesday of his desire to negotiate a multi-year extension with his team's ace. "We're not going to publicly address it. Whatever we'll do, we'll do in a quiet way."
The price tag seemed to go up with this week's announcement that the Mariners and Felix Hernandez had reached agreement on a seven-year, $175 million contract extension. Even before that, there had been speculation that the 24-year-old Kershaw could be the first pitcher to reach the $200 million mark, a prospect he shrugged off Tuesday.
"Obviously, you know how much people make. That's just part of the game," Kershaw said. "I think more than anything, you have to live up to the responsibility of being a baseball player every day, on and off the field. ... I think the more money you make, the more responsibility you have, for sure."
Price tag for Dodgers' Kershaw could top $200 million
Orange County Register | Feb 13