The Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw have agreed to extend the deadline for Kershaw to decide whether to exercise his contract option until Friday at 4 p.m. ET, the Dodgers announced.
Kershaw, 30, signed a seven-year, $215 million contract in January 2014 that included a player option to become a free agent after five seasons. The original deadline for Kershaw’s decision was midnight ET on Wednesday.
Kershaw, 30, is owed $65 million over the next two seasons.
Kershaw could opt out for the opportunity to stretch out a similar average annual value over additional seasons.
But a decision that at one point appeared to be a foregone conclusion now seems like a major dilemma.
Kershaw, who will turn 31 in March, is probably the greatest pitcher of his generation and collected a 2.73 ERA in 2018. But back issues have sent him to the disabled list each of the past three years and his fastball velocity has declined into the low 90s, leading to fewer strikeouts and more balls in play.
“I have not made a decision,” Kershaw said when asked about it prior to Game 4 of the National League Championship Series.
The only pitcher who makes more than the $32.5 million Kershaw would average over the next two years is former teammate Zack Greinke, who signed a six-year, $206.5 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks when he was a year older than Kershaw is now.
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