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Dodgers, Kershaw make progress, but still hard to gauge optimism

Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers are still talking, with some progress being made toward an extention.
Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers are still talking, with some progress being made toward an extention. (USATSI)

There's been some progress in the Clayton Kershaw negotiations, but word is that he has been seeking about $225 million and talks have gone on too long for people familiar with the discussions to suggest the sides are close to a deal yet.

While there's been movement, it isn't known how close the Dodgers are willing to come to the $225 million figure, so optimism can't be gauged at this point. It's also possible he may be willing to come off that figure -- though the deal still has a very good chance to exceed $200 million.

It's likely the Dodgers understand the star left-hander should be the highest-paid pitcher, which would put his contract at above the $180 million record Justin Verlander set on a seven-year deal on the eve of the season. Before Verlander, Felix Hernandez signed for $175 million, also over seven years.

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti declined comment via text message. Casey Close, Kershaw's agent, didn't return messages.

Kershaw makes $11 million this year, the second of a two-year, $19 million contract. He is eligible for free agency after the 2014 season.

Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com reported on Saturday night that there's been progress.

Kershaw is 5-4 with a 1.84 ERA. He is 25 years old, five years younger than Verlander.

 
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