Little has been revealed about the possibility of an extension for Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw this offseason. The club’s star southpaw is coming up on a pivotal opt-out clause at the end of the 2018 season, and while GM Farzan Zaidi confirmed there was an “open dialogue” about a long-term deal last month, nothing’s been set in stone just yet.
The Dodgers are understandably open to an extension; Zaidi referred to the left-hander as a “franchise player” and Dodgers owner Mark Walter echoed the sentiment on Saturday, telling FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, “[Kershaw] should be a Dodger for life.” Whether either of those vague comments mean the two sides are close to an agreement is less clear, though Walter added that Kershaw generally prefers to “wait until the end” when it comes to negotiations.
The 29-year-old lefty is entering his 11th consecutive season with the club, one in which he’ll strive to add a World Series ring to his long list of accomplishments. He capped his seventh All-Star run in 2017, supplementing 4.6 fWAR with an NL-best 18-4 record, 2.31 ERA and 6.73 SO/BB in 175 innings.
As things currently stand, Kershaw has another two years and $65 million left to cash in on the seven-year, $215 million extension he signed back in 2014, though he’s expected to pursue richer terms in free agency next fall. Given Walter’s recent comments and the strides the Dodgers have taken to ensure they remain under the luxury tax threshold this year — and assuming Kershaw also envisions himself as a “Dodger for life,” of course — it looks like the club is preparing to meet whatever asking price their ace decides to set.