Is Clayton Kershaw's Anger at Leaked Contract Talks a Threat to Dodgers Future?

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIJune 18, 2013

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 15:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the first inning against the against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on June 15, 2013 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Clayton Kershaw is not happy with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Kershaw was displeased that contract discussions were leaked to the media, saying it's now a distraction.

"I think the reason we've been able to continue discussions for this long is that it's not been talked about," Kershaw said. "And now that I'm having to talk about it, it's a distraction because people are talking about it. I guess you'll have to talk to the Dodgers as to why it came out now. I don't love the fact that I have to talk about it."

Kershaw felt he had a gentleman's agreement with the Dodgers to not talk speak about the contract publicly.

"It didn't come from our side," Kershaw said. "I'm going to still hold up my end of the bargain and not talk about it."

The question now is does this hurt the Dodgers' future? Could it possibly lead Kershaw to hold off talks until the offseason and possibly until he's a free agent?

Hurt Feelings

Kershaw may have had his feelings hurt just a little because someone leaked this to the media, but it's not like contract extension talks were a secret.

Multiple media outlets, including Bleacher Report, have long considered Kershaw and the Dodgers to be working on an extension. Most have tried to guess how much he'll make.

The fact that they're making progress shouldn't hurt Kershaw's feelings. The fact that it leaked shouldn't, either. In today's social-media world, that kind of stuff happens.

It's hard for anything to be done in secret. Just look at the country's political scene from the IRS scandal to the Edward Snowden situation. Even when sworn to secrecy at the highest levels of government, stuff still gets leaked.

So, what would make Kershaw think progress on contract talks wouldn't be leaked?

Welcome to the good ole USA.

He's Going to Get Paid

No matter what happens, Kershaw is going to get paid.

Being that he's just 25, he's likely going to become the highest-paid pitcher in baseball.

Justin Verlander's contract extension that could pay him $202 million over seven years would just be a starting point for the Dodgers (or any team if Kershaw goes to free agency).

Verlander's highest-paid years are from 2015 to 2019, in which he'll make $28 million a season.

As far as Kershaw, he'll likely be the first pitcher to reach $30 million in a year. His total contract will likely exceed $210-215 million.

And there aren't too many teams that can afford that. In fact, outside of the Dodgers, I don't see anyone paying that kind of money.

The New York Yankees are looking to be more frugal with their spending, while the Philadelphia Phillies have a lot of money they still owe their top pitchers.

The Dodgers are currently the only team that can afford to open their checkbook and pay multiple players absurd amounts of money.

This is just a small hiccup and both parties will get past it.

Kershaw wants to stay with the Dodgers over the course of his career, and the Dodgers want to keep him in town.


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