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Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw miffed about report on contract talks

Dodgers FYI

A report that Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw are making progress toward long-term deal draws a sharp response from pitcher, who accuses club of leaking information.

June 16, 2013|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Pitcher Clayton Kershaw was upset that he had to talk about his ongoing contract negotiations with the Dodgers.
Pitcher Clayton Kershaw was upset that he had to talk about his ongoing contract… (Justin K. Aller / Getty Images )

PITTSBURGH — Clayton Kershaw soon could become the richest pitcher in baseball history.

But Kershaw was upset that he had to talk Sunday about his ongoing negotiations with the Dodgers, whom he blamed for leaking information to Fox Sports.

The previous night, Fox Sports reported that Kershaw and the Dodgers were "making progress" toward agreement on a seven-year contract extension. According to the report, which cited unnamed "major league sources," the deal being discussed would be worth more than the record $180-million, seven-year contract between the Detroit Tigers and Justin Verlander, who in March agreed to five-year extension through 2019. Exactly how close Kershaw and the Dodgers are to a new deal was unclear.

BOX SCORE: Pittsburgh 6, Dodgers 3

"I think the reason we've been able to continue discussions for this long is that it's not been talked about," Kershaw said. "And now that I'm having to talk about it, it's a distraction because people are talking about it. I guess you'll have to talk to the Dodgers as to why it came out now. I don't love the fact that I have to talk about it."

Kershaw wouldn't confirm or deny the details of the Fox Sports report, saying he thought he and the Dodgers had a gentlemen's agreement to not speak publicly about the negotiations.

"It didn't come from our side," Kershaw said. "I'm going to still hold up my end of the bargain and not talk about it."

General Manager Ned Colletti declined to comment on the Fox Sports report. Asked to comment on Kershaw's accusation that the Dodgers leaked the story, Colletti didn't respond.

Kershaw is under contract this year for $11 million. He will be eligible for salary arbitration next season, after which he can enter the free-agent market. Dodgers executives have said they would like to have him signed to a long-term deal before then.

If the Dodgers sign Kershaw to a seven-year deal, they would have him under contract through his age-32 season.

Here to stay

Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford probably won't return from the disabled list for a week or two. But when they do, Manager Don Mattingly expects Yasiel Puig to remain in the major leagues.

Puig started the season at double-A Chattanooga (Tenn.) because of overcrowding in the outfield, which includes Andre Ethier. In the absence of Kemp and Crawford, Ethier has moved from right field to center. Puig has played in right.

When Kemp and Crawford come back, Mattingly anticipates there will be enough at-bats for all four outfielders.

With Kemp expected to be scheduled for regular days off, Ethier could continue to get playing time in center field. Crawford will also require regularly scheduled days off, meaning Puig can fill in for him in left field.

Mattingly acknowledged the plan could change if pitchers make adjustments to Puig and cause him to stop hitting.

"But this is a talented kid that I feel is going to make adjustments," Mattingly said.

Short hops

Chris Capuano is expected to be activated from the disabled list Wednesday. The left-hander would start the second game in a two-game series at Yankee Stadium. . . . Left-hander J.P. Howell completed the two-game suspension he received for his role in the brawl during Tuesday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. . . . Juan Uribe was a late scratch from the lineup Sunday because of a tight back. . . . In the latest All-Star balloting results, no Dodgers were listed among the leaders at their respective positions. . . . The Dodgers' triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque was involved in a violent brawl with Memphis on Saturday night that resulted in 10 ejections.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

Twitter: @dylanohernandez

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