Owner: Clayton Kershaw priority
The Los Angeles Dodgers won't be going after second baseman Robinson Cano, likely to be among the biggest prizes on this offseason's free-agent market, Dodgers owner Magic Johnson told USA TODAY Sports.
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"I can't talk about the other guy," Johnson told the newspaper Thursday, "but you already know that guy in New York is going to be paid. Not by us, but he's going to get paid."
Johnson said the Dodgers' priority is re-signing left-handed ace Clayton Kershaw, according to the report. Kershaw struck out 12 over seven innings as the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 6-1 in Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Thursday night and had a 1.83 ERA during the regular season.
If Kershaw continues with this type of performance in the postseason, his asking price is likely to increase.
"We're not worried about that. We already know we've got to give him a lot of money. What's a few more zeroes, I mean, really?" Johnson told the newspaper, laughing.
The Dodgers had an Opening Day payroll of $214.8 million, becoming only the second Major League Baseball franchise to top the $200 million mark. Meanwhile, Cano's current team, the New York Yankees, have topped that figure six years in a row.
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Cano, 30, a career .309 hitter who has averaged 28 home runs and 102 RBIs over the past five seasons, is expected to attract the most lucrative contract ever given to a second baseman. Sources told ESPN's Buster Olney last week that Cano likely will take the biggest offer he receives this winter, regardless of whether it comes from the Yankees or another team. Cano has said he plans to take his time making his decision.
Johnson also told USA TODAY Sports that the team will sit down with manager Don Mattingly, who has not yet received a contract extension, after the season.
"Donnie has been pushing the right buttons," Johnson said, "and the fans love him. ... But this is not the time to talk contract right now. After this is over with, everybody will see where they are and go from there. So, right now, we just want to enjoy this moment."
Information from The Associated Press and ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews contributed to this report.