Lukewarm Stove: Ludwick, Ross, Bourn, Soriano, Jackson, Otani, Greinke, Dempster

It’s not looking like there will be Bullets today, as the majority of items meriting discussion are of the “Lukewarm Stove” variety. So, feel free to consider this your “Bullets” for the day, even though it is, in reality, a Lukewarm Stove. (Most meta intro ever.)

  • Now that Zack Greinke has agreed to terms with the Dodgers (more on that, below), I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a dramatic uptick in activity this week – perhaps more, even, than at the Winter Meetings last week. He may have been the log-jam-inducing guy at the top of the board, from which a great many other things trickle down (which impact other things, which impact other things, etc.). With that in mind, if you haven’t already followed BN on Twitter and liked it on Facebook, you should. They are handy ways to keep up with things this time of year.
  • This is really interesting: in an off-hand tweet, Jim Duquette says he hears that, prior to re-signing with the Reds, Ryan Ludwick was also negotiating with the Giants and … the Cubs. Ludwick, a righty-batter, hasn’t played anywhere other than left field with regularity since 2010 (when he played some right field). What would the Cubs’ intentions have been with Ludwick, 34, who last year played exceedingly well in Cincinnati in a non-platoon role? Does he split time in right field with Nate Schierholtz? Does he displace Alfonso Soriano in left, because there was a Soriano trade in the works? Was he simply a guy the Cubs thought they could get on the cheap, and who could contribute in either corner outfield spot and off the bench? It’s probably that last one (or the Cubs were negotiating with him before they inked Schierholtz), but it makes you think. It also makes you think the Cubs are either very committed to David DeJesus in center field or very committed to trading DeJesus and picking up a full-time center fielder in free agency. Because, by adding another outfielder who cannot play center, the Cubs would be locking themselves even further into one of those two options for center field (DeJesus, or a free agent). Ludwick wound up getting two years and $15 million.
  • Oh, and if the Cubs were seriously considering Ludwick, you can safely assume they’re seriously considering Cody Ross, who offers a very similar skill set, and the ability to play occasionally in center field.
  • Phil Rogers speculates that Michael Bourn may have to settle for a one-year deal if the market for his services keeps falling by the wayside. I still think you’re going to find a small handful of teams interested, but it’s possible that no team will be interested at the five-year, $80+ million price point. If that happens, maybe Bourn will indeed decide to take a one-year, $18 to $20 million deal in the hopes he can find a more receptive long-term market next year. (As a speed guy who will have just finished his age 30 season at that point, I don’t think he’d find the market as rosy as he’d hope.) If that happens, the Cubs will probably be in on him, but strictly as a flippable piece – and Bourn will know it. Maybe he’ll like the idea of a one-year deal that virtually guarantees he’ll be on a contender come August. That said, I don’t think it plays out this way. I think Bourn gets a healthy contract somewhere.
  • Speaking of which, the Mariners make a lot of sense for Bourn if they can’t land Josh Hamilton. But Ken Rosenthal wonders if the organization will be scared off by the Chone Figgins deal (another “speed guy” entering his 30s). I’m not sure I see the similarities there (for one thing, Figgins was a full two years older when he signed as Bourn is now, and wasn’t an obvious Gold Glover at one of the most important defensive positions), but organizations get spooked by weird stuff.
  • A source tells Jeff Passan that the Phillies very well could still do something “big,” liking signing Josh Hamilton (wha?) or going after another outfielder in trade. Does Alfonso Soriano count as “big”? I wouldn’t call it big, but we do know that the two sides have very likely had conversations about a deal.
  • Teams are apparently very “cool” on Edwin Jackson right now, which could be a reflection of a guy whose numbers don’t pop, and who’s been on six teams in the last five years. If so, here’s hoping the Cubs are keeping in close contact with a guy whose price may have to drop a little bit.
  • It sounds like 18-year-old Japanese pitching prospect Shohei Otani is going to stay in Japan after all, which is a neutral move for the Cubs, who probably weren’t going to be able to pursue him as aggressively as you would have wanted, thanks to CBA quirks.
  • Holy crap, Zack Greinke got two ridiculous clauses built into his contract with the Dodgers, according to Jim Bowden: (1) Greinke can opt out of the deal after three years for any reason, and, (2) if he’s traded during the deal, he can opt out after that season. If he’s dominating and prices have continued to skyrocket in three years, he can bolt (making the deal, essentially, a three-year deal with a three-year player option). If things go south and he’s hurt or ineffective, he stays and collects his checks. And that second clause, I mean – that’s worse than a no-trade clause. At least with a no-trade clause, you can still get great value in return if you find a team to which the player wants to go. With this clause, you’re never going to get great value, because the other team is trading for, at most, just one season guaranteed, because he can bolt immediately after the season in which he’s traded. That’s a rough clause for the Dodgers, and is probably a huge reason why Greinke chose them. It might as well be the best no-trade clause in baseball (until that final year, at least, during which he’ll have 10/5 rights anyway). Assuming Bowden’s report is accurate, that is. This is the kind of latent stuff that doesn’t make a lot of headlines when Team X “outbids” Team Y for a player’s services, but I like that the Cubs have a tentative policy in place to not offer these kinds of shenanigans-inducing clauses (the first, of which, of course, is the basic no-trade clause). The day might come when playing around might be necessary (like, when Clayton Kershaw reaches free agency? he shares an agent with Greinke), I suppose.
  • According to his agent, Ryan Dempster would like to sign with an NL team who Springs in Arizona (on a three-year deal). The list of NL teams that spend their Spring Training in Arizona are: the Diamondbacks, the Reds, the Rockies, the Dodgers, the Brewers, the Padres, the Giants, and, of course, the Cubs. You can count out the Diamondbacks, Reds, and Giants as plausible suitors based on a lack of need. The Rockies and Padres are looking for starters, but Dempster seems like a stretch for their plans. The Dodgers would only consider Dempster if they can’t finalize a Hyun-Jin Ryu deal today (and then can’t get Anibal Sanchez), so Dempster’s market might be the Brewers and the Cubs. And, as we’ve discussed repeatedly, the Cubs might not really be all that interested. I think he’s either going to have to accept a sweet-heart deal from the Brewers or Cubs, or will have to expand his preferences a bit.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

167 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Ludwick, Ross, Bourn, Soriano, Jackson, Otani, Greinke, Dempster”

  1. Internet Random

    Wow. I have to think the Dodgers’ front office knows their job(s) better than I do, but the stunts they’ve been pulling since the change in ownership… I’m starting to wonder. That’s the most one-sided MLB contract I can recall (measured at the time that it is formed anyway). The Dodgers’ negotiators must have just bent over and backed their way up to the table.

  2. Pat

    For Kyle and Hansman, here is the breakdown of post season success (since the expansion to 8 teams) seeded by best record. It’s a small sample, but it does look like the better teams make the world series more often, but the winning team is more random.

    1) 7 made, 3 won
    2) 4 made, 2 won
    3) 5 made, 3 won
    4) 5 made, 3 won
    5) 5 made, 2 won
    6) 3 made, 2 won
    7) 3 made, 0 won
    8) 4 made, 3 won

    1. Kyle

      Cool stuff.

    2. DarthHater

      it does look like the better teams make the world series more often

      Actually, it looks more like the number one seed makes the world series more often, but after that, it’s a crap shoot.

      1. Pat

        1-4 makes it much more often than 5-8. Plus, keep in mind that in one league 4 or 5 is some times the best that could make it.

    3. OCCubFan

      I appreciate Pat compiling these data, but I must disagree with the conclusion. I’m certain that a statistical test would reveal that the “pattern” is random and is not significantly different from that expected if every team had an equal chance to make the world series.

      1. Pat

        Any statistical test would ignore this small of a sample in the first place.

        1. DocPeterWimsey

          It is not that a “statistical” test would ignore this small of a sample; instead, it is that at this sample size, you need a huge deviation fom the null expectation of one eighth of the 18. (In this case, you cannot reject the 1 in 8 or 1 in 4 hypotheses.)

  3. FFP

    South Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin has signed with the Dodgers, who expect him to be part of the rotation next season. $36 million over six years. per LA Times

    1. cjdubbya

      Does he make enough to break the starting rotation? I kid…sort of.

    2. hansman1982

      $223M 2013 payroll.

  4. Curt

    this just in the rest of the off season is over , as the dodgers have signed all remaining free agents dodgers payroll now stands 1 gazillion dollars . That is all now returning you to yr reg scheduled programming .

  5. Mike Taylor (no relation)

    Beckett
    Billingsley
    Capuano
    Greinke
    Kershaw
    Harang
    Lilly
    Ryu

    They were shopping Capuano and Harang before the Winter meetings, now they can shop Lilly as well. The Reds could pickup Capuano or Harang and keep Chapman in the bullpen (and away from Arm-Killer Baker).

  6. Andrew

    Just like Greinke’s, there are a lot of player-friendly (somewhat odd) clauses in Ryu’s contract:

    If he pitches 750 or more innings over the first five years of the contract, he can opt out of the sixth year.

    Can earn an additional $1 million per year in bonuses. ($250k ea for 170, 180, 190, 200 IP.)

    Ryu can’t be sent to the minors without his written consent, the Dodgers will pay for an interpreter, and Ryu’s jersey will sport the number 99.

    The opt out is kinda crappy because if he turns out to be really good he’ll just leave, although I guess that’s why he only will make 6 mill a year (although it costs LA more with the posting fee). Paying for the interpreter seems pretty obvious and who else would want number 99 anyway haha. Obviously the worst thing for the dodgers is the minors thing which i would say is worse than a NTC because no matter where he goes, he will have to be a 25 man roster burden

    1. hansman1982

      It’s one thing to spend money but its a different beast all together to do so foolishly.

      Trading for Carl Crawford, Greinke’s contract and now these clauses. I am doubly glad for our front office.

      Either the Dodgers will be sporting a $300M payroll before long or they are about 2 injuries away from having a boon-doggle on their hands.

  7. North Side Irish

    Marc Topkin ‏@TBTimes_Rays
    Hearing #Rays have traded Shields AND Davis to #Royals. Working on confirmation and return

    Wow…

    1. King Jeff

      That’s got to be a big deal. I’d imagine it’s Myers plus a few younger pitchers going back to the Rays.

      1. North Side Irish

        Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal
        Source: #Rays will send James Shields and Wade Davis to #Royals for Wil Myers and other prospects.

        1. Carew

          holy crap

        2. King Jeff

          Could be any number of pitching prospects, they have about 5 of them that could be big league ready sometime next season.

        3. North Side Irish

          Jerry Crasnick ‏@jcrasnick
          Hearing that Shields, Davis and Myers aren’t only names in trade. It’s bigger than that, source said. #rays #royals

          Good for you Kansas City…even though no one ever seems to win trades with Andrew Freidman.

          1. King Jeff

            Yeah, that’s why I was thinking that this could be a huge haul for Tampa. For Shield AND Myers, he’s probably getting a good portion of KC’s top 10.

        4. MichiganGoat

          Crazy good deal for the Rays

          1. Luke

            Waiting on those other prospects to be named before I declare a winner.

            I did not expect a move like this so soon. I thought we wouldn’t see this until January.

            1. hansman1982

              The Royals are just trying to keep with the Dodgers…

            2. North Side Irish

              That is an impressive haul for the Rays…

    2. King Jeff

      This also projects Chris Archer to compete for a rotation spot in Tampa next year.

  8. North Side Irish

    I guess the Royals had to make a move after losing Volstad…

  9. Twiz

    I’d do garza for myers prob

  10. someday...2015?

    Unbelievably good deal by the Rays. Very good get by the Royals as well.

  11. North Side Irish

    Marc Topkin ‏@TBTimes_Rays
    Huge #Rays trade is Shields AND Davis (and PTBNL) to #Royals for OF Myers, RHP Odorizzi, LHP Montgomery, 3B Leonard

    1. someday...2015?

      And boom goes the dynamite!

    2. Whiteflag

      Pretty Huge!

    3. Luke

      Stunning. Shields is a very good pitcher, but… wow.

      1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        Man, I am legitimately jealous of the Rays for that one. It took the Royals this long to pull a semi-major trade and they overpay like that?!?! Wow.

      2. hansman1982

        Helllllo increased trade value for Garza…

  12. Twiz

    is it just me, that I’m overvaluing royals players and undervaluing rays
    or are rays getting a hell of a deal, and royals are getting robbed

    1. someday...2015?

      You’re not wrong about the Rays getting a hell of a deal. The Royals got two really solid pieces that are already known. I think it’s a win for the Rays but the Royals definitely didn’t make a bad deal.

      1. someday...2015?

        I should add that if Myers and one of Odorozzi or Montogomery reach their potential this is a flat out steal for the Rays.

      2. Luke

        If Shields is not locked into an extension as we speak, this is a terrible deal for KC. They gave up three major league ready or near major league ready players for two (?) years of Shields. And those three do not project as average players, either.

        If Shields stays in town for four or five years, this deal starts to look more sane.

        1. King Jeff

          Patrick Leonard is no slouch either, even if he is much further away.

        2. Whiteflag

          Will the Royals have the cash to lock him down?

          1. Luke

            No.

            1. Whiteflag

              That’s what I was thinking. Looking more and more like highway robbery.

        3. someday...2015?

          I can’t imagine the Royals made this deal without confirmation from Shields that he would sign an extension with them. The trade makes zero sense if their is no extension in place for Shields. I agree that the Royals lost the trade either way but don’t forget that this is a trade that sends 2 proven players to a teams for 4 unproven players. It really doesnt matter how highly rated Myers, Odorozzi, or Montgomery are. They are still just prospects.

          I really don’t think it’s as lopsided of a deal as it looks.(If Shields signs an extension, like you said.)

          1. Luke

            KC apparently wanted Davis in the deal because they are convinced he will be a good starter.

            Don’t look for logic in KC.

            1. someday...2015?

              Luke, do you think this trade ups a healthy Garza’s trade value? I would love to see the Cubs grab Olt and Buckel from Texas.(even if took throwing in a Vogelbach, Lake type prospect.)

              1. Luke

                Absolutely. This deal, along with the Greinke contract, should raise the value of nearly all quality pitchers on the market.

                1. someday...2015?

                  That’s good, now my jealously can at least fade a bit.

                  Here’s to praying Garza comes back to full strength and potential, and us trading for a package of something like Olt and Buckel!

  13. #1cubsfan2013

    damn i liked myers

  14. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    Wow. The Rays doing what the Rays do…

  15. King Jeff

    The pitching market is going to go crazy after this.

    1. Martin

      There will be no deal better Han this one for any pitcher left on the trade block.

    2. Martin

      There will be no deal better than this one for any pitcher left on the trade block.

      1. Luke

        Only because no GM is as desperate as the guy in KC. He should have gotten Price with that package.

        Still, this and the Greinke deal set the market. I’d love to hear the reaction in New York about now. Dickey just became much more valuable. And potentially harder to trade.

        1. Martin

          Dickey, at 38, shouldn’t be that valuable in trade anyway.

        2. Martin

          Either Garza’s injury is worse than the Cubs are letting on, or the front office just dropped the ball. There’s no way a deal this bad should have gotten through without a Cubs offer on the table.

          Assuming the Garza injury is not multiple-season threatening, a Garza/Samardzija package is at least the equal of shields/Davis.

          If you’re going to sell he fan base on the full tear down, you can’t blow opportunities like this. A combination of stupid and loaded with prospects doesn’t come around much anymore, and kc might be the last one for a long time.

          1. Luke

            The Cubs could have had fifty offers on the table and it would not have mattered. No one is going to pay prime prices for Garza until he shows on the mound that he is healthy.

            1. Martin

              Given what they paid for shields, I have little doubt that garza (even with the injury) and samardzija couldn’t have fetched at least half that package, which would have been a better return than anything we could have imagined.

              1. hansman1982

                Samardzija has little trade value to other teams – after mediocrity for 3 seasons he finally has a decent one. Teams will be leery that this is his career year although the case could be made that he would be at least equal to Davis.

                Garza at 100% is nowhere near James Shields. Shields posted an ERA 0.40 lower than Garza last year…in the AL East.

                Combine all of that together with an unknown Garza and Samardzija would have maybe gotten Myers from the Royals.

                Flip it around – would you give up Myers for those two?

                1. Martin

                  You think samardzija has less value than Wade Davis? And look beyond last year; garza and shields are remarkably similar in career numbers.

                  Would I do that deal? No. But I sure as hell wouldn’t do Myers, odorizzi, Montgomery and Leonard for shields and Davis either, so we can’t use the logic barometer in this deal.

                  1. Kyle

                    The most recent year matters a lot. There’s no “look past last year” when discussing trade value.

                    1. Martin

                      I can’t disagree with this statement enough.

                    2. Kyle

                      You don’t think the most recent season matters a lot when discussing player value?

                      The concepts of “buy low” and such have really gone too far.

          2. hansman1982

            fail

            1. John (the other one)

              Shields also has double the time left on his contract.

              1. hansman1982

                Ya…I don’t even know if Garza + Samardzija (with their 2013 contracts covered) would get you a call back from the Rays in trading for Shields.

                1. Martin

                  Because he rays are smart. KC has proven to not be smart.

  16. LouCub

    God, I wish Garza was 100% , exas is gonna come a knocking since Sheilds nd Grienke are gone

    1. When the Music's Over

      Yep, Garza’s injury (and its timing) was a complete fisting.

  17. Martin

    Garza and Samardizja for Myers and Odorizzi would have been a steal for the Cubs. Say what you want about Theo, but Friedman’s better. A LOT better.

    1. Luke

      If Garza were healthy, I think KC does the deal. But he isn’t, and until he is and proves it on the mound he isn’t going to be dealt for anything less than pennies on the dollar.

      His injury could not have come at a worse time.

      But if the market stays this overheated into spring training (and it easily could), Cubs could wind up doing better in a trade than they ever expected.

      1. Kyle

        Garza probably also would have needed another season as good as his 2011.

        1. Martin

          Garza’s career numbers are almost identical to Shields and he’s two years younger. That makes him at least comparable.

          1. hansman1982

            Garza also has 1 less year of team control…that is huge.

            1. Martin

              Still comparable. It’s only 1 year (at $14 million). I can see the argument for control when it comes to Davis, but 1 year isn’t nearly as significant.

      2. Martin

        I think Garza’s injury is worse than they’re letting on.

        1. Luke

          We’ll find out in the spring. No one, including other GMs, can do anything more than guess until then.

      3. Mike Taylor (no relation)

        If Garza were healthy, he’d be in another team’s uniform right now.

  18. morgan

    wonder if rays will look to trade odorizzi to get a bat, maybe soriano plus some

  19. mudge

    So extend Garza. Why so eager to get rid of a good pitcher?

  20. Believe in 2015

    I would try and package Vogelbach with Garza in the spring. American League teams can actually use Daniel at the DH and don’t have to worry about his defensive liability

    1. Eric

      I’m fine with that but with Voggie and Garza it better be an insane package. It better be 4 players out of a teams top 7. Vogelbach, by the time he reaches triple A, is going to have insane value.

      1. someday...2015?

        How about a healthy Garza and V for Olt, Buckel, and Perez?

        I would of thought that ^^^^ would have been crazy before tonight’s trade.

        1. Eric

          Garza was about to net Perez and Olt at the trade deadline last year. Plus probably one more, not sure if it was Buckel though. I mean it’s an ok trade, and I think I’d go for it cause it would give us our 3B of the future and a possible Garza #2 replacement (Perez) and Buckel is nice insurance, but not one in which the Cubs trade rape the Rangers. Just makes me remember how we almost had this deal in the bad for just Garza. That’s the price you pay some times in waiting too long for the best deal.

          1. King Jeff

            Texas wouldn’t even think about trading Olt, Perez, and Buckel for Garza. I don’t know where you came up with that proposal that was “about to net Perez and Olt”, that is pretty clearly a lopsided trade in favor of the Cubs. Tampa got 3 top 10 guys for two starters under cost controlled deals. Garza is a very different thing altogether, so don’t assume he would net even close to that.

  21. Luke

    I’m hearing from a few places that KC’s front office did not think that Myers will be as good as lot of the rest of baseball did.

    Because players with high OBP and very good bat speed who can hit for power and average are not that valuable?

    KC is looking like they are in total disarray right now.

    1. someday...2015?

      Wow someone must of slipped something in the drink of KC’s GM. This really makes no sense at all.

      1. Rich

        Or KC knows something we all don’t about Meyers? If they saw something they didn’t like why not trade him before his flaws are shown. Just think about how much Jackson’s value has dropped in a year.

        1. King Jeff

          Jackson has never produced at near the levels that Myers has in the minors. I think this was more of a situation where the KC front office realizes it has only so long to win, or they will be out of jobs. Myers, and the two pitchers would be great for the future, but Shields and Davis will help them contend this year. Plus, they already have some very good, young position players, so they did deal from an area of depth.

  22. Roland Perrelli

    With all this craziness with the pitching market and what we have seen from Garza why would we trade him? We should be locking him down with a long term deal. There is nobody better next year than him and he is plenty young enough to be good as some of the kids come up. So why trade him teams are locking up their players so why do we think there will be anyone better or if there is why do they want to come here?

    1. Kyle

      I don’t really want to lock down a guy with more elbow problems than great seasons.

  23. daveyrosello

    Well, living in KC and with relatives in Omaha, I’m familiar with the principals involved here.

    Myers–excellent hitting prospect. Tampa will love him. He’s a converted catcher, still learning in the OF, long-term prospects for him to stick there are uncertain. Could well be an eventual DH. But yeah, this kid can hit.

    Odorizzi–big time pitching prospect. IMO, Odorizzi will be better for Tampa in 2013 than will Davis for KC.

    Montgomery–flame-out. Can’t find the strike zone consistently, he also telegraphs his pitches. If minor league hitters can time you and tee off, well….he is still young I guess. I’d rate him as KC’s version of Trey McNutt.

    I have not seen the young 3B that was traded, he’s in the low minors. Overall, I love Shields but this trade was highway robbery for Friedman. Again. Best GM in baseball.

    1. Luke

      Montgomery is also headed to the single best organization for developing pitchers, and he still has the penitential for three plus pitches. He could be a bust, but Tampa could just as easily turn him into a monster.

    2. daveyrosello

      Should have added: since Team Theo just LOVE the idea of uncovering hidden value with their player choices, it is entirely possible that KC is finally ready to cut the cord with Luke Hochevar. He has yet to post even a 90 ERA+ in the big leagues, it is true, but there’s too much talent there, he’s a classic change-of-scenery, change-of-instruction guy. His upside even after his to-date performance is yards better than say, Travis Wood. If KC is ready to move him for a song, should Theo bite? (Aside: post-trade, out of Bruce Chen and Hochevar, KC will move one of them. But Chen is under contract–and he sucks–so Hochevar is more likely to get traded).

  24. ripitrizzo82

    Whining is like A blind person complaining about sub titles

  25. ripitrizzo82

    Deal with the fos decision or shut up

  26. TakingWrigleyToSãoPaulo

    Given the price of pitching, I am impressed at what Theo and Jed did this off-season with Feldman and Baker. If we were still looking for two quality starters at this point in the game we would be pretty much caught with our pants down or spending way to much for mediocrity.

    1. David

      While I agree, it still kind of feels like other gms are ordering off the adult menu while Jed is deciding between applesauce and dinosaur fries to go with his chicken nuggets.

      1. TakingWrigleyToSãoPaulo

        Nothing wrong with a 20 piece box when the rest of the menue makes you have indigestion.

      2. TakingWrigleyToSãoPaulo

        Only one F.A. that I would have really gone after and that was Grinkie. But after seeing the deal he signed, in no way do I think he´s worth the highest annual salary ever for a righthander.

        Sometimes, patience is a virtue. When you feel like you HAVE to do something you end up looking like Dayton Moore.

  27. Lukewarm Stove: Cano, Kershaw, Guerrero, McCann, Phillips, Choo, More | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    […] Speaking of the Dodgers and their suddenly spendthrift ways, they might be reserving some of that erstwhile Cano cash for Clayton Kershaw. Buster Olney reports that the Dodgers offered Kershaw a $300 million extension before the 2013 season, and it would have essentially amounted to a lifetime contract (Kershaw is 25 and will be a free agent after next season). The expectation is that the two sides will get something done this offseason, even if it isn’t quite that large (the biggest deal ever for a pitcher, depending on when you start counting an extension, is in the $175 million (Felix Hernandez) to $180 million (Justin Verlander) range). Kershaw is probably the best pitcher in baseball, and he’s just 25, but … $300 million for a pitcher is insane, and could not possibly end without some measure of regret. If I’m Kershaw, I make damn certain I get my huge money extension done this offseason, and I probably don’t mess around with trying to limit it to a five-year deal (so that I can hit free agency again at 30), either. He’s in a unique position to command an absurd contract of the kind he’d have difficulty duplicating in two segments. He could at worst try to ask for an opt-out after a few years, a la the contract provision the Dodgers (foolishly) gave Zack Greinke. […]