The Los Angeles Dodgers have "made progress" on a seven-year contract extension with ace Clayton Kershaw that would make the 25-year-old lefty the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal is reporting.
The deal would be worth more than the $180 million the Detroit Tigers gave Justin Verlander before the season. The two sides discussed proposals of 10 years, $250 million and 12 years, $300 million earlier in negotiations, according to the report.
Kershaw is seeking $225 million, but may be willing to come down to a figure still above $200 million, according to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman. He warrants a richer deal than the 30-year-old Verlander and 27-year-old Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, who signed for $175 million before the season, because he is younger, according to Rosenthal.
Kershaw, who is 66-41 lifetime with a 2.70 ERA, is in the second year of a two-year, $19-million deal and cannot become a free agent until 2015.
He has pitched more than 200 innings and recorded more than 200 strikeouts in each of the last three seasons, and is currently leading the National League in innings pitched (107.1), ERA (1.84), batting average against (.191) and strikeouts (104). VERDUCCI: Brawl won't turn Dodgers around, and it won't be last we see