dodgers sign all the playersIn what would almost certainly be another landscape-altering deal, the Dodgers and ace (the ace-iest of aces) Clayton Kershaw may be closing in on an extension of massive proportions.

That, according to Ken Rosenthal (and supported by Buster Olney, who says the sides are “making progress”), who says that the Dodgers are trying to get a Kershaw extension done before Friday, when arbitration figures are due to be exchanged. Kershaw, 25, is in his final year of arbitration, and is scheduled to be a free agent after this season. Few have expected that Kershaw would ever reach free agency, so an extension would not be a surprise at this point. Its size and length, however, could be.

Rosenthal notes some general possibilities – a $30 million annual salary, an opt-out clause built in, a previously scuttled seven-year, $210 million offer – but doesn’t say what the particular deal might look like. At this point, would anyone be the least bit surprised by a 10-year, $300 million deal? Earlier in negotiations, Rosenthal says, a 10-year, $250 million deal was discussed, or a 12-year, $300 million deal. Kershaw then posted the best season of his career in 2013, so who knows where it went from there. A shorter-term, huge AAV deal is always possible, but if you’re Kershaw, you’re going to want the 10-year deal for massive money … with an opt-out built in about halfway through. Then you get the best of both worlds.

Kershaw, of course, is a unique talent (his FIP hasn’t exceeded 2.89 in any of the last three years, and his combined WAR over that period is 18.5), and he’s just 25. If any pitcher was ever going to get a 10-year deal, this is the guy. Still, that kind of contract is fraught with risk – the kind that can be absorbed only by teams with perversely deep pockets. In other words, the deal makes sense for the Dodgers, even considering the huge risk.

That all said, if Kershaw is extended, I’m going to be bummed from a pure spectacle perspective. A 26-year-old ace lefty hitting free agency in this era? That would be something to watch. It would also put another big-time arm on what figures to be the best pitching free agent market in recent memory (Scherzer, Masterson, Bailey, etc.).

As for how a Kershaw extension could alter the Masahiro Tanaka situation, I’m not so sure they’re related. With their ample war chest, it seems like the Dodgers are either in on Tanaka or they’re not. They always wanted to extend Kershaw, regardless. We’ll see, though.

  • CubFan Paul

    Not even the Dodgers can afford a big Kershaw extension AND Tanaka (..unless Tanaka has to settle for Yu-money ($9M-$11M AAV)).

    • Chad

      You say that like it’s a fact. People said they couldn’t afford a lot of the players they have and boom, they sign them. They are blowing past any limits so why not keep going. I wouldn’t doubt it if they signed both players.

      • Isaac

        Right, why should we even pretend to know that that is true?

      • CubFan Paul

        “You say that like it’s a fact”

        I used a little common sense and simple math…

        • Chad

          Doesn’t mean it’s a fact, and doesn’t mean it is right either. Common sense has not played a part in a lot of their signings. They are obviously not worried about blowing by any spending limits.

          • CubFan Paul

            “Doesn’t mean it’s a fact”

            According to you. I don’t care if you disagree

            • Chad

              That’s good because I can’t think of one time I have ever agreed with anything you have spouted on here. Also, “doesn’t mean it is a fact” is actually a fact. I didn’t say it was wrong, I just said it didn’t mean it was a fact, that is not an absolute statement. I try not to make absolute statements when I don’t absolutely (aka 100%) know the answer. So you are right that is according to me because it is my opinion, just as it is your opinion that the Dodgers can’t afford both, aka not necessarily true, aka “doesn’t mean it’s a fact”

          • mjhurdle

            Obviously, the Dodgers *can* afford to sign both Tanaka and Kershaw, if they so desired.
            They have the money to do it. That is the only fact that we know.
            Will they, can they maintain a competitive team with such a high payroll, how it will affect them 3-4 years down the road; these are questions that we don’t know the answers to.
            I personally think the Dodgers will make an aggressive push for Tanaka, regardless of the Kershaw extension. They already have a huge payroll with longer contracts that put the future (4-5 years) into a bit of a question on how it will work. If they think that adding another 20+ million a year now gets them a couple WS appearances or trophies in the next 3-4 years when they look to continue to be really good, then i think they jump on it and worry about 2018 later.

  • rabbit

    dang too bad Magic Johnson didn’t buy the Cubs instead.

    • ari gold

      Magic has almost nothing to do with it. The $250M per year they get from the TV deal has 95% to do with it.

    • David

      Ha! Thats funny. Maybe Michael Jordan can sell his basketball team (Charlotte? ) and buy the cubs! Jordan and the Cubs vs. Reisdorf and the stinky Sox.

  • mrcub1958

    Whew! Weird dream last night. I was sitting in my seats at a game with Blackhawk against the Indians. Edwin Jackson was pitching against us and we had Tanaka going. Hawk kept going on and on about our rotation of Tanaka, Shark, Wood, Hendricks and Homer Bailey.
    We lit up Jackson in the 1st.

  • waffle

    and they have to sign Ramirez, right?

  • waffle

    make that would like to sign him…but geez those are huge #’s