Dodgers lock up Clayton Kershaw with monster seven-year deal

1/15/14 in MLB   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

If you ask anyone who the best pitcher in baseball is, the most likely answer you'll hear is Clayton Kershaw of he Los Angeles Dodgers. The 25-year-old has been great throughout his career, and has absolutely dominated over his past three campaigns. Kershaw has led the Majors in ERA for three straight seasons, earning two Cy Young awards (along with one second place finish) during that span. His ridiculous 1.83 ERA in 2013 marked his fifth consecutive season with an ERA below 3.00.

Blog Photo - Dodgers lock up Clayton Kershaw with monster seven-year dealOn Wednesday, the Dodgers and their big-spending owners rewarded Kershaw for his dominant ways - Ramona Shelburne of ESPN has reported that the Dodgers and Kershaw have agreed to a seven-year deal worth a whopping $215 million.

The deal gives Kershaw a record-breaking annual salary, and even allows him to opt out after five years. The opt-out clause will allow Kershaw to hit the open market at the age of 30 if he wants, so he will be able to cash in on another mega-deal before his career is over.

There was talk over the offseason of the Dodgers giving Kershaw a $300 million deal over more years, but this $215 million pact will probably be better for both sides. Incredibly long deals often end up hurting the ball club in the long run, and Kershaw can capitalize on two monster contracts if he opts out after five years or even waits until the end of the full seven seasons. If Kershaw had signed, let's say, a ten-year deal, he would have a tough time getting another mega-deal at the age of 35.

Kershaw will return as the Dodgers' ace in 2014, and there is no reason to think that he won't be in the running for the Cy Young award for the fourth consecutive season.
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