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Report: Dodgers 'making progress' on huge Clayton Kershaw extension

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Clayton Kershaw is reportedly close to a huge extension.
Clayton Kershaw is reportedly close to a huge extension. (USATSI)

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The Dodgers are "making progress" on a seven-year, $180 million-plus contract extension for left-handed starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Kershaw, 25, wasn't set to hit free agency until after the 2014 season, so this extension would eat up his last year of arbitration in addition to his first six free agency years. And though he'd obviously be among the highest-paid pitchers in baseball, an argument could be made that the deal is a bargain.

Kershaw won the Cy Young in 2011 and finished second in Cy Young voting last season. This year he's 5-4 (it's not better because the bullpen has blown several of his wins) with a 1.84 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 104 strikeouts in 107 1/3 innings.

Basically, Kershaw's in the conversation for "best pitcher in baseball" along with the likes of Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander and he's just not getting into what is normally a pitcher's prime. Verlander has a 10-year, $219.5 million deal and Hernandez's deal is seven years and $175 million. Kershaw is younger than both, too.

On the flip-side, Kershaw's deal would expire when he's 32 years old, so if he's as good as it appears he can be, he'd be in line for another huge payday.

Assuming this gets done, it'll be a win-win.

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