Clayton Kershaw, A.J. Ellis, and Kenley Jansen all filed for arbitration on Tuesday. Even though Kershaw has gone through the process of filing for arbitration for his final time before becoming a free agent after the 2014 season, it doesn’t mean that the star southpaw is going anywhere. Ned Colletti affirmed during his press conference last week that “it’s our desire here to sign him (Kershaw) here for a very long time.” Colletti wouldn’t go into any more detail on the negotiations between the Dodgers and Kershaw, but there’s no reason to believe that the Dodgers will not sign Kershaw long-term nor is there any hint that Kershaw would like to play anywhere other than in Los Angeles.
Even if the Dodgers and Kershaw were hypothetically close to signing a deal, if it was not fully hashed out Kershaw would have to file for arbitration anyways. Through arbitration, Kershaw will make around $18 million for next season after finishing a two-year $19 million contract.
Kenley Jansen, the Dodgers’ closer, is also due for a raise (and well deserves it). Jansen made $512,000 last season, and he should earn around $4.5 million next season through arbitration. This will be Kenley’s first shot at arbitration, and he will get a hefty pay increase after securing the ninth inning and becoming one of the more dominant relievers in the league.
A.J. Ellis, now the only Ellis on the team, will get a raise from $2 million to around $3 million for his second eligible year of arbitration.
On Friday, the players and the teams will exchange one-year contract proposals. The two sides must come to a compromise, but once a player files for arbitration they are as good as signed. If there isn’t an agreement between the player and the team, then the case would go before an arbitration panel who would listen to both sides and would grant one of the salary proposals to the player. The last arbitration hearing to go forward was for reliever Joe Beimel in 2007. The Dodgers salary proposal was chosen over Beimel’s in that case.
In the rare case that one of the three aforementioned players would not come to an agreement with the Dodgers, the arbitration hearings are tentatively scheduled for February 1-21.
Even if Kershaw and the Dodgers agree to a one-year contract for 2014, it doesn’t mean that they will no longer continue negotiations with the two-time Cy Young Award winner. Kershaw will still be a Dodger in 2014 regardless, and the Dodgers and Kersh could come to an agreement on a long-term deal at any time before or during the season. There’s really no rush, even though we all want Kershaw locked up right now.
Kershaw is not going to Texas or New York. Try not to worry. Kershaw will be a Dodger forever, and don’t let other fans convince you otherwise. Of course other teams want Kershaw. Wouldn’t you if you were a Yankees fan?
If the Dodgers should land Masahiro Tanaka, that shouldn’t interfere with their negotiations with Kershaw. There’s no reason why the Dodgers couldn’t have both if they really wanted to. There’s no way the Dodgers will let Kersh walk. The only place Kersh will be walking to is the bank once the Dodgers sign him to his 8-year $250 million contract.