Los Angeles Dodgers ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw said Tuesday he has yet to choose whether he will exercise the opt-out clause in his contract this offseason.
“I have not made a decision,” Kershaw said during his press conference ahead of Game 4 of the National League Championship Series. “And to my understanding, you get 10 days after the World Series. So, should be a busy 10 days.”
Kershaw is owed $70 million over the final two seasons of the seven-year, $215 million contract he signed in January 2014. At the time, the deal made him the highest paid pitcher of all time.
But in the years since, Kershaw’s deal has been surpassed, both in total value and average annual value. David Price of the Boston Red Sox is making $217 million over the life of his seven-year deal with the team, while Zack Greinke, signed to a six-year, $206.5 million contract by the Arizona Diamondbacks, makes the most money on average per season at $34.4 million.
Kershaw, 30, was 9-5 with a 2.73 ERA in 26 regular-season starts this year. The three-time National League Cy Young Award winner spent time on the disabled list as the result of a back injury for the third consecutive season.
Kershaw looked like his peak self during his first start this postseason, when he threw eight shutout innings and allowed just two hits in Game 2 of the NL Division Series against the Atlanta Braves. However, he got roughed up in Game 1 of the NLCS by the Milwaukee Brewers, giving up five runs (four earned) on six hits in three-plus innings.
Kershaw will get the start when the Dodgers face the Brewers in Game 5 on Wednesday. Though it could be his last outing at Dodger Stadium, the southpaw said he isn’t thinking about that.
“I think it’s hard enough to try and win a postseason game,” he said. “I know more than anybody knows that. So I think for me it’s just trying to focus as much as I possibly can on the Brewers and getting ready for tomorrow’s start. And putting everything else on the back burner as best I possibly can.”
“It’s been a great run,” he later added. “And whatever happens, I’ll be thankful for that, always.”
Kershaw is in his 11th major league season, all with the Dodgers. He has a career 153-69 record with a 2.39 ERA in 318 regular-season games (316 starts).
—Field Level Media