The re-tooled, re-build, money-rich Los Angeles Dodgers failed to reach the play-offs in their first season under new ownership. This despite spending money left and right on new players and contract extensions. One extension they have yet to get too, though, is Clayton Kershaw's.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Dodgers have yet to initiate contract extension talks with Kershaw's new agency. However, the team has made it clear that extending the All-Star lefty is one of their top winter priorities.
Kershaw had another phenomenal year in 2012 despite battling a hip impingement toward the end of the season. As Kershaw first started experiencing the discomfort, there was a real concern he would need to undergo surgery on the hip. Fortunately, that was not the case and doctors determined that he would not do any more damage by continuing to pitch. So, Kershaw continued pitching and finished the season with a 14-9 record and a league-low 2.59 ERA.
Kershaw is expected to be ready for spring training and Opening Day. Now, the Dodgers will need to focus on Kershaw's contract. He is currently under contract through next season, and he has one more year of arbitration eligibility if necessary. However, the Dodgers have yet to let Kershaw reach an arbitrator. Now, they will look to buy out his last arbitration-eligible season and a couple free agent years.
The Dodgers finished second in the National League West, but that was a far cry from their goal when they brought on a ton of payroll during the July trade season. Now, the feeling in Los Angeles is one of almost "championship or bust." Making sure Kershaw is there for years to come will help in that pursuit.
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