Clayton Kershaw was one of 146 Major League Baseball players to file for arbitration on Tuesday, but his case may not reach a hearing because the Dodgers want to sign him to a contract extension by Friday, sources told Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.
Friday at 1 p.m. ET is the deadline for clubs to exchange contract proposals with players who filed for arbitration.
The Dodgers and Kershaw's representatives are beginning to work on a deal now because the difference between their offer and Kershaw's "could be significant," Rosenthal wrote, citing a source.
"Fox Sports reported in August that Kershaw was close to signing a record-setting, seven-year extension in the $210 million range earlier last season before the Dodgers backed off," Rosenthal wrote. "The contract under discussion then would have included an opt-out clause, giving Kershaw the right to become a free agent after five years, sources said."
A $30 million per year average salary would match the highest in baseball history, equaling CC Sabathia's one-year, $30 million extension with the Yankees in 2011, Rosenthal reports.
Kershaw, who'll be 26 when the 2014 season starts, is coming off a two-year, $19 million deal and is in the final year of arbitration before he is eligible for free agency.
He has won two of the last three NL Cy Young awards and has led the league in ERA the last three seasons. Kershaw has a career record of 77-46 with a 2.60 ERA, including 16-9 with a 1.83 ERA last season.
But Kershaw hasn't fared quite as well in the postseason, going 1-3 with a 4.23 ERA in nine appearances, including six starts. He was tagged for seven runs in four innings in Game 6 of the NLCS against the Cardinals last season. SI WIRE: Commissioner Bud Selig committed to retiring in Jan. 2015