Left-hander Clayton Kershaw was offered a contract in the $300 million range earlier this year but turned it down, ESPN reported Saturday. The proposed deal, which would be the largest in history for a pitcher, was put on hold during the season because Kershaw was unsure about making a commitment to essentially a lifetime contract, according to the report. There is hope that an agreement can be reached during the winter. If the deal approaches $300 million, it would be in the neighborhood of Alex Rodriguez's 10-year, $275 million contract with the Yankees that with incentives could reach $305 million. The largest contracts for pitchers are Felix Hernandez's seven-year, $175 million deal with the Seattle Mariners, Justin Verlander's extension with the Detroit Tigers that pays $180 million for the 2013 through the 2019 seasons and CC Sabathia's seven-year, $161 million package with the New York Yankees. With Kershaw eligible for free agency after the 2014 season, the Dodgers would like to secure one of the game's top pitchers for the long run. In the past three seasons, Kershaw has a 77-46 record with a 2.60 ERA. He has led the National League in ERA each year, including a 1.83 ERA this year. The 25-year-old is the favoite to win his second National League Cy Young Award in three years.
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