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Clayton Kershaw is open to talking about long-term deal with Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2014 season, but the Dodgers' ace says he is 'always open to talks' on a new deal. He says it's a fun time to be a Dodger.

August 28, 2012|By Dylan Hernandez

DENVER — Clayton Kershaw said he would be open to discussing a long-term contract extension if he is approached by the free-spending Dodgers over the winter.

"Yeah, sure, I'm always open to talks," Kershaw said. "I've had a great time here. I love the guys and I love everything about L.A."

Kershaw, 24, won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2014 season, but the Dodgers would probably want him signed to a long-term deal before then.

Kershaw is under contract for next season at $11 million, as part of a two-year, $19-million contract he signed last off-season. Before he signed the deal, Kershaw and the Dodgers also talked discussed the possibility of him signing a four-year contract that included an option for a fifth year. Such a deal would have bought out as many of two years of free agency.

The reigning Cy Young Award winner doesn't feel any urgency to get a new deal this winter.

"I'll be here for two more years regardless," he said. "There's no deadline or anything, so that's good."

The Dodgers have spent more than $430 million in player acquisitions since they were purchased by Guggenheim Baseball Management this spring.

Shortly after the sale, the new owners met with the players and promised they would do whatever was necessary to win.

"I didn't know what to expect," Kershaw said. "But they backed up what they said all along. You have to take them for their word. It's a fun time to be a Dodger."

Gonzalez solicits advice

Adrian Gonzalez is asking fans in Los Angeles for help.

The recently acquired first baseman is soliciting suggestions for a local charity he can support and wants fans to send him ideas to his Twitter account, @adriangon28.

From his days with the San Diego Padres, Gonzalez has been known for his community work. He and his wife established the Adrian & Betsy Gonzalez Foundation in 2007 to help underprivileged youth.

"I think it has to do a lot with my faith," Gonzalez said. "My wife, she's got the best heart of any person I ever met. She's always looking for a way to help, never putting herself first. We're put on a platform and a position where all we can do is use that to do what we can to help others."

Gonzalez's charitable endeavors continued in Boston, to where he was traded before the 2011 season.

Last week, Gonzalez took more than 200 Boston-area students back-to-school shopping.

And last month, he said he would donate $5,000 to the Jimmy Fund for every home run he hit in the second half of the season. A partner of the Red Sox, the Jimmy Fund is a Boston-based charity that raises money for cancer care and research. Gonzalez said he would still honor his commitment.

"Just taking the blessings I have and be able to help those that can use it," he said.

Short hops

With the Dodgers' bullpen severely taxed over the weekend, fresh-armed reliever Josh Wall was called up from triple-A Albuquerque. The Dodgers optioned Shawn Tolleson to Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. Tolleson was sent to Class A because Rancho Cucamonga's season ends Sept. 3, after which he will be eligible to be added to the major league roster. … Utility man Jerry Hairston Jr. is scheduled to undergo season-ending hip surgery Sept. 7 in Colorado. … Ted Lilly hurt his back lifting weights. Manager Don Mattingly said he didn't know how this would affect Lilly's rehabilitation program but acknowledged, "It seemed fairly bad." Lilly was hoping to return next month as a reliever.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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