Dodgers owner Mark Walter revealed his feelings on the tight-lipped contract negotiations between the storied franchise and one of the game’s best players to Heyman on Saturday, saying that Kershaw “should be a Dodger for life.” Walter also said Kershaw is “something special.”
Kershaw can opt out of the last two years of his record seven-year, $214 million deal he signed in 2014 and hit free agency, where he could potentially be part of a class that includes Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Charlie Blackmon, David Price (opt-out) and Andrew Miller. Kershaw has $65 million left on his current contract.
It’s not a surprise that the Dodgers want to keep Kershaw in Los Angeles.
The 29-year-old Kershaw has posted a 144-64 record with a 2.36 ERA and a 57.4 WAR while winning three NL Cy Young awards and one NL MVP in 2014 in his 10-year career with the club. Kershaw also has been selected to seven All-Star teams in a row.
Kershaw was told about Walter’s remark about being “something special.” He replied: “That’s cool. That’s good.”
However, Kershaw said he was “not thinking about” his contract and is likely going to re-visit it after the 2018 season. Walter said doesn’t “blame“ Kershaw for waiting, even though the Dodgers would probably want to get a deal done sooner rather than later.
The Dodgers are under the luxury tax threshold this year and want to stay there so they can be in the mix for Kershaw or another star if he opts out.