Even with all their spending in the last year, the Dodgers may have their biggest handout still ahead of them.
With Zack Greinke set to draw an average salary of $24.5 million over the next six years, some baseball executives and agents are wondering whether Clayton Kershaw could become the first pitcher to earn $30 million a year.
At 24, Kershaw is five years younger than Greinke. He's also considered a better pitcher.
"He's a true No. 1," said one agent...
The Dodgers plan to approach their ace in the near future to talk about a long-term contract extension.
"As we get through the next few weeks, we'll look into that and see what we can do," General Manager Ned Colletti said.
For now, Kershaw has a two-year, $19 million contract to finish out and an ailing hip to rehab. The left-hander received a wide range of diagnoses on his hip at the end of 2012 -- one recommending major surgery that would have sidelined Kershaw for part of 2013 -- but eventually found his way back to the mound. The Dodgers do not view the hip as a recurring problem, and seem to have no qualms about offering the left-hander a long-term deal.
Between the new contracts of Hyun-jin Ryu and Greinke, the Dodgers have up to $179 million locked in over the next six years for two-fifths of the rotation. If the club wants to lock up Kershaw long-term as well (but actually save some money) Hernandez believes that the best course of action would be to come to terms on a new deal with the left-hander this winter, using Ryu and Greinke's deals as templates.
The Dodgers are unlikely to offer no-trade protection in any extension, but that should not stop talks from progressing.