The deal, which isn’t expected to be officially announced until Friday, will make Kershaw the highest paid pitcher in baseball history. The previous record contract for a pitcher was the seven-year, $180-million deal signed last winter by Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers. The deal would give Kershaw an average annual salary of $30.7 million.
Kershaw’s new contract also includes an out-clause that would allow the left-hander to void the remainder of the contract after five seasons.
In a meeting with L.A. Times on Wednesday, Dodgers President Stan Kasten said he was optimistic the team could sign Kershaw to an extension by Friday. That is the deadline for teams to exchange salary figures with their arbitration-eligible players. He would have been a free agent after next season.
Kershaw, 26, went 16-9 with a career high 1.83 ERA and a 0.915 WHIP last season, The two-time Cy Young Award winner also led the NL in strikeouts for the second time in three years. He’s led the National League in ERA in each of the last three seasons.