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Clayton Kershaw doesn't want contract talks to drag into season

February 12, 2013|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Clayton Kershaw says he has an idea about the kind of contract he's looking for but wants to avoid the distraction of negotiating during the regular season.
Clayton Kershaw says he has an idea about the kind of contract he's… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

PHOENIX – Clayton Kershaw is open to negotiating a new contract with the Dodgers but doesn’t want the talks to continue beyond spring training.

“I don’t think I’m going to let it go into the season,” he said.

Kershaw reported to the Dodgers’ spring training facility Tuesday with the team’s other pitchers and catchers.

He said he and the team still haven’t opened negotiations. Kershaw is under contract for $11 million this year and will be eligible for salary arbitration next year. He will be eligible for free agency after the 2014 season.

Kershaw said he wasn't worried about the amount of industry talk over how lucrative his potential contract might be. There is widespread speculation that a new deal could exceed the $200-million mark.

“It doesn’t bother me because it’s not true,” he said. “It’s people talking. It really doesn’t bother me. I don’t love that it’s in the paper. But at the same time, I know that’s the game, so it’s just not letting it bother you.”

Kershaw acknowledged that he has an idea of what kind of deal he wants but said his focus is on preparing himself for the upcoming season.

“For me, that’s really my concern at this point, getting ready for April 1,” he said. “All that stuff will take care of itself.”

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