First, Felix Hernandez. Then Justin Verlander. And soon, Clayton Kershaw.
The Dodgers have made progress on a seven-year extension for Kershaw, and the dollar amount will be above the $180 million the Tigers awarded Verlander, according to major-league sources. The contract would be the largest for a pitcher in baseball history.
Kershaw, 25, would warrant a richer deal than Verlander, 30, and Hernandez, 27, because he is younger than both of those pitchers, sources said.
The two sides discussed a variety of proposals earlier in the negotiations — including 10 years, $250 million and 12 years, $300 million, sources said.
The deal currently under discussion is more in line with the current market — and would make Kershaw a free agent again at 32 if it did not include options.
Kershaw currently is in the second year of a two-year, $19 million contract.
Kershaw, who turned 25 on March 19, was the National League Cy Young award winner in 2011. He has a 5-4 record and 1.84 ERA on the season.