The Dodgers have locked up ace Clayton Kershaw for the foreseeable future, as the two parties have agreed to a seven-year, $215 million contract, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN is reporting. Shelburne is reporting Kershaw also has an out available after the fifth year of the contract.
That will pay above $30 million per year for the pitcher, a new annual record for any player, regardless of position, besting Roger Clemens' $28 million in 2007 (Clemens, who didn't join the Yankees until June, collected only a prorated portion of that salary, or about $17.4 million according to Cot's Baseball Contracts). The $215 million deal ranks sixth in baseball history in total money, and dwarfs Justin Verlander's $180 million deal as the highest ever given to a pitcher. Verlander will earn $28 million annually beginning in 2015.
Kershaw will receive an $18 million signing bonus, then salaries of $4 million in 2014, $30 million in 2015, $32 million in 2016, $33 million each in 2017 and 2018, $32 million in 2019 and $33 million in 2020, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Dodger teammate Zack Greinke is scheduled to make $24 million in 2014, with bonuses pushing that up in the $25-$26 million range. Cliff Lee, Felix Hernandez and C.C. Sabathia all fall around $25 million per year, as well.
Kershaw, 25, is the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, his second with the team. He has led the league in ERA each of the past three seasons, while also leading the league in strikeouts and WAR in 2013.