LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers have agreed with pitcher Clayton Kershaw on a contract extension that will take him through the 2021 season, the team announced on Friday. The new contract is worth a total of $93 million over three years, per both Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
The contract includes incentives, per Rosenthal, but no opt outs, per Brown.
Kershaw breakdown: $31M in 2019, ‘20 and ‘21, plus $1M each for 24 starts, 26 starts, 28 starts, 30 starts. Also gets $1.5M for Cy Young, $500K for second- or third-place finish.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 2, 2018
The two sides have been working on a deal for the better part of a week, after the World Series ended last Sunday. Kershaw originally had a deadline of Wednesday night to decide whether to opt out of the final two years of his contract, but he and the team decided to extend that deadline to Friday afternoon, at 4 p.m. ET.
“He’s made as much of an impact that you can on an organization in terms of the success we’ve had, and not just on the field,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Thursday.
Kershaw was set to earn $32 million in 2019 and $33 million in 2020 under the terms of his old contract, a seven-year deal signed before the 2014 season that at $215 million was the largest in Dodgers franchise history.
The new deal essentially added a year and $28 million, taking him through his age-33 season. That extension is higher than the annual average value of any pitching contract signed in the last two years.
Kershaw, who turns 31 in March, had a 2.73 ERA in 26 starts for the Dodgers in 2018, with 155 strikeouts and 29 walks in his 161⅓ innings. He fell five outs shy of qualifying for the leaderboard but would have finished fourth in the National League. That’s Kershaw’s worst showing since 2010, when he was ninth.
The left-hander had a 4.20 ERA in 30 postseason innings in 2018, including losing both World Series starts, allowing nine runs in 11 innings against the Red Sox. It was the second straight year the Dodgers lost in the World Series.
“There’s only one team that can win and we know that but it just hurts worse when you make it all the way and get second place,” Kershaw said Sunday. “So having done that two years in a row now, it doesn’t make it any easier.”
Kershaw has a 2.39 ERA in 11 big league seasons, the lowest ERA by a starting pitcher in the live ball era. He is one of 10 pitchers in history with three Cy Young Awards, and also won the NL MVP in 2014.