The Los Angeles Dodgers came to terms on Tuesday with two of their remaining three players who were eligible for salary arbitration, but could not yet come to terms with ace Clayton Kershaw on a contract. The two sides exchanged salary arbitration figures, with Kershaw seeking a salary of $10 million and the Dodgers offering $6.5 million, per John Heyman of CBS Sports.
Earlier Tuesday the Dodgers agreed to one-year deals with both James Loney and Andre Ethier, avoiding salary arbitration. Both Kershaw and the Dodgers will continue to negotiate, but if they can't come to an agreement there will be a hearing sometime in February, in which each side will try to convince a three-person arbitration panel to pick their salary, with no in between.
Kershaw had one of the finest pitching seasons in Dodgers history in 2011, going 21-5 with a 2.28 ERA and 248 strikeouts. He led the National League in wins (tied with Ian Kennedy of the Arizona Diamondbacks), ERA, and strikeouts to capture the pitching triple crown, and was voted the National League Cy Young Award winner, the first Dodgers starting pitcher to win the award since Orel Hershiser in 1988.
Kershaw made $500,000 in 2011, and his $10 million salary interest would be a record for pitchers in their first year of salary arbitration eligibility. Tim Lincecum, who made $9 million in 2010 (including a pro-rated signing bonus) as part of a two-year, $22 million contract he signed after winning back-to-back Cy Young Awards.
Just last week I guessed on True Blue LA that Kershaw would make $8.5 million in 2012.
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