Is this the week Clayton Kershaw decides how rich he wants to be?
Kershaw filed for salary arbitration on Tuesday, a procedural formality. He and the Dodgers must exchange their one-year salary proposals Friday; if the two sides can’t reach agreement over the next two weeks, they will bring a case before an arbitration panel in February.
If you work a night shift Friday, set your alarm for 10 a.m. That’s MLB’s deadline for “pre-exchange contracts.” Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reported today that the Dodgers want to sign Kershaw to a long-term contract extension by then. The Dodgers have been looking to lock up Kershaw for months. This is the closest thing to a hard deadline the Dodgers have faced since contract talks began last year.
The real hard deadline, of course, is after the final game of the 2014 World Series. At that point, the Dodgers won’t just be bidding against themselves — they will be bidding against 29 other teams, as Kershaw is due to become a free agent.
A contract of that magnitude wouldn’t necessarily eliminate the Dodgers from the Masahiro Tanaka derby, but they are reportedly competing against the deep-pocketed and pitching-poor Yankees. The deadline to sign Tanaka is Jan. 24 at 5 p.m.
The takeaway: This could be a big week of spending in Chavez Ravine.
Some bullet points for a National Hat Day:
• ESPN already selected the Dodgers’ first North American game of the season for its Opening Day “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast in San Diego. Today, the network announced it will feature two more Dodgers games among its first 11 “SNB” telecasts of the season: April 6 against the San Francisco Giants and July 20 in St. Louis. Both games will begin at 5 p.m. PST.
• The New Yorker hates the dancing Dodgers Bear: “A fan dressed in a bear costume … executed a few impressive jumps before security led him away. Some fans cheered in delight. But please, L.A., don’t get any ideas.”
• No Dodgers prospects made MLB.com’s list of the top 10 right-handed pitchers.
• Save your jokes: Dodgers head athletic trainer Stan Conte is a featured speaker on SABR’s injury prevention panel.
• Per DodgersInsider.com: In [the Dodgers'] first 50 games of 2014, only five are against winning teams from 2013: the two against Detroit and three at Washington (May 5-7).
• The Professional Baseball Scouts’ Foundation’s annual dinner gala (“In The Spirit of the Game”) is this Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. Hank Aaron, Joe Morgan, Bobby Grich, Bruce Bochy, John Scheurholz and Jack McKeon are among the baseball luminaries who will be recognized. Actors Michael Keaton and Jason Alexander are scheduled to make “special presentations.” Tickets and sponsorship packages are available by calling (818) 224-3906.
• If you choose to read any sentence about Alex Rodriguez today (from ESPN.com): “The regimen of performance-enhancing substances delivered by Tony Bosch to Alex Rodriguez was “probably the most potent and sophisticated drug program developed for an athlete that we’ve ever seen,” U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart told The Associated Press.”
• You don’t have to be in a coffee shop to enjoy Skye’s cover of “Feel Good Inc,” but it won’t hurt: