Kershaw won't talk contract during season

Kershaw won't talk contract during season

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Clayton Kershaw just shook his head no when asked if there was anything imminent in contract talks with the Dodgers.

He wouldn't even confirm rumors that talks are ongoing.

"I don't want to talk about it," he said.

But he repeated his position that negotiations won't be held during the season once it starts on Monday.

Before Spring Training started, general manager Ned Colletti said preliminary contacts established "mutual interest" in extending Kershaw's current contract, which paid him $8 million last year and $11 million this year.

He also remains under arbitration control by the club for 2014, before he can become a free agent.

Kershaw spoke after tuning up for Monday's Opening Day start against the Giants. He made 56 pitches over three innings against Seattle and was charged with three runs, two on a home run down the left-field line by Michael Morse, who has hit eight this spring.

"I feel fine. I feel great," said Kershaw. "It's not always fun giving up runs the last start. I'd like that one pitch back to Morse. But I feel good and I'm excited for the season to start. Now it's time to go."

The home run came on a slider down the middle.

"Just a bad pitch," Kershaw said.

The Dodgers brought no regulars to the getaway game, perhaps because of the matchup with Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, a benchmark for Kershaw in that his seven-year, $175 million contract is tops for a pitcher. Zack Greinke's six-year, $147 million deal is a Dodgers record. Kershaw said he was impressed by Hernandez, as well as the Mariners.

"From last year to this year, I wouldn't step on them," said Kershaw. "The guys in the lineup can do some damage. I wouldn't be surprised at all if they're right in it."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.