By Mike Fitzpatrick
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Clayton Kershaw has two Cy Young Awards by age 25 and one runner-up finish. He just posted baseball’s lowest ERA in 13 years and became the third pitcher since 1900 to lead the majors in that category for three consecutive seasons.
Here’s another one: $300 million.
Scuttlebutt is, that’s how much the Los Angeles Dodgers might be offering to keep him from becoming a free agent.
So when Kershaw was asked about a new contract Wednesday, his family and friends were ready. They walked right into the camera shot on MLB Network to engulf him with hugs and high-fives in a welcome interruption.
It was better support than he often received from Dodgers hitters.
“That was perfect timing. I don’t know how that happened, but it was great. I didn’t have to answer the question,” Kershaw said about an hour later on a conference call from his Dallas home.
“Not my doing. It was just coincidence.”
Kershaw won the NL Cy Young Award for the second time in three seasons Wednesday, coming within one vote of a unanimous selection. Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers breezed to the American League prize, chosen first on 28 of 30 ballots.
One year after he was runner-up to knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, Kershaw nearly shut out the competition.
The left-hander with the big-breaking curve received 29 of 30 first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals was picked first on one ballot.
Kershaw went 16-9 for the NL West champions this year and led the league with 232 strikeouts. His 1.83 ERA was the best in the majors since Pedro Martinez’s 1.74 for Boston in 2000.
Scherzer was the lone 20-game winner in baseball this season. He ranked second in the majors with 240 strikeouts and was fifth in the AL with a 2.90 ERA.
The 29-year-old righty smiled and raised both arms when the Cy Young results were announced.
“It’s unbelievable. It just vindicates everything I’ve done,” Scherzer said.
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