Clayton Kershaw was in Oklahoma City on Thursday to accept the 2011 Warren Spahn Award, an award named after the Hall of Famer who won 363 games, given annually to the top left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball, based on rankings of wins, ERA, and strikeouts. Kershaw led the National League in all three categories last season.
Kershaw was asked about his pending salary arbitration hearing at the event, and told Yahoo! Sports, "I’m not worried about it at all. My court date was set. We’ll see what happens. Hopefully, it will be settled before then but you never know."
The Dodgers submitted a salary arbitration figure of $6.5 million for Kershaw in 2012, while the southpaw countered with a request for $10 million, which would set a new record for a pitcher in his first year of arbitration eligibility. I still think it is likely that the two sides settle before an arbitration hearing, which would be in early February, but if they don't come to an agreement it will be the first arbitration hearing for the Dodgers since 2007, with relief pitcher Joe Beimel.
But hey, since that Prince Fielder money didn't get spent maybe a long-term extension for the reigning Cy Young winner is in order.
Kershaw will join Matt Kemp in Kansas City on Saturday night at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Legacy Awards in Kansas City. Kershaw is the 2011 recipient of the National League Bullet Joe Rogan Award for pitcher of the year, while Kemp will be presented with the Oscar Charleston Award as the NL MVP.