Clayton Kershaw signs seven year contract with Dodgers for $215 million

Clayton Kershaw is (deservedly) a very rich man

1/15/14 in MLB   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

Oct 18, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning in game six of the National League Championship Series baseball game at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David E. Klutho/Pool Photo via USA TODAY SportsClayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers have finally hammered out a long term deal, and it's one that will pay him more per year than any player in baseball history.

Kershaw agreed to a 7-year contract with the Dodgers worth $215 million, good for an average of about $30.7 million per year.

The news was first reported by Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles, who also noted that there's an exit clause for Kershaw after 5 years.

This is a great deal for both the Dodgers, who have no shortage of cash for their players, and Kershaw, who now becomes MLB's first $30M (per year) man. Kershaw now makes more money per year than anyone in the league, and the Dodgers have locked up the best pitcher in baseball for 7 years of what should be the prime of his career.

Kershaw turns 26 right before the season starts, so this deal will extend from his age 26 season to his age 32 season. If he continues to pitch like he has over the past 5 years, in which he has had a total ERA+ of 155, that's a bargain for the Dodgers.

Kershaw has won two of the past 3 NL Cy Young awards, and came in 2nd in 2012. He led the league in ERA+ each of the last two seasons, and led the league in WHIP for the past three years. He also led the league in strikeouts in both 2011 and 2013.

Congrats to Kershaw and the Dodgers, who are both winners in this deal.
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1/15/14   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Let me remind everyone that thanks to the explosion of revenue, the player's share of it as a whole is down to 42%, the lowest of the four major sports. It was 62% a short time ago. Money that doesn't go to the players just stays in the owners pocket. A salary cap would just mean more money to the owners. Lower salaries would almost certainly not result in lower ticket prices.

With that, it would normally be insane to pay a pitcher $30 million a year, but given that it's Kershaw and given that it's the Dodgers, it makes sense.