MLB free agent news: Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw ‘very close’ to deal

The Dodgers and ace Clayton Kershaw are close to agreeing on a deal that would keep the left-hander in Los Angeles, reported Friday afternoon, shortly before a 4 p.m. ET deadline for him to exercise his contract option.

It’s “very close,” an unidentified source told Jeff Passan. 

Sources: The Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw are nearing a deal that would keep him in Los Angeles. One source said it’s “very close.” The expectation was that he would stay, and as the 4 p.m. ET deadline nears, it’s looking like a reality.

According to The Athletic, the sides were discussing adding another year to the two years remaining on Kershaw’s contract, which could bring the deal to $90 million to $100 million for the next three seasons. 

As of last night, #Dodgers and Kershaw were talking about adding an additional year to his remaining two years, $65M, likely bringing total over three years to more than $90M but less than $100M, a source says. Final terms might be different. @JeffPassan reporting deal is close.

On Thursday, team executives Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi had characterized negotiations with Kershaw as “ongoingly pleasant.”

“Obviously he’s made as much of an impact as you can on an organization in terms of the success we’ve had — not just on the field, but from a culture standpoint, in terms of bringing up young pitchers and kind of emulating the work ethic, the drive,” Friedman said of Kershaw ( per ESPN .)

The Dodgers earlier this week agreed to extend Kershaw’s deadline to decide whether he would exercise his contract option from midnight ET Wednesday to Friday afternoon.

Kershaw signed a seven-year, $215 million contract in January 2014 that included the player option to become a free agent after five seasons. 

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Kershaw, who turns 31 in March, was owed $65 million over the next two seasons.

He posted a 2.73 ERA in 2018, but he has spent time on the disabled list during each of the past three seasons with back issues. In 11 MLB seasons, all with the Dodgers, Kershaw is 153-69 with a 2.39 ERA. He’s a three-time NL Cy Young Award winner (runner-up twice) and a seven-time All-Star.

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