Clayton Kershaw $200 million man?

The idea nearly became reality earlier this season when Kershaw was close to signing a record-setting seven-year extension in the $210 million range according to major league sources.

The Dodgers backed off though and the two sides have not negotiated in months sources said. Talks are unlikely to resume until the offseason and by then Kershaw’s price could be even higher.

Kershaw 25 leads the majors with a 1.72 ERA which would be the fourth-best among all pitchers with 150 or more innings since the mound was lowered in 1969.

The Dodgers remain motivated to strike a deal – Kershaw nearing the end of a two-year $19 million contract is eligible for arbitration after this season and free agency after the 2014 campaign.

The contract Kershaw and the Dodgers discussed would have included an opt-out clause giving the pitcher the right to become a free agent after five years sources said.

The average salary of approximately $30 million would have been the highest in baseball history eclipsing Roger Clemens’ previous high of $28 million on a one-year deal in 2007.