Dodgers Reportedly Agree on Seven-Year, $215 Million Extension with Clayton Kershaw

dodgers sign all the playersThe excitement of free agency dies once again …

According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, the Dodgers and ace Clayton Kershaw, who was to be a free agent after this season, have agreed to a monster seven-year, $215 million extension. Kershaw will have the right to opt-out after five years, per Shelburne.

We heard earlier that an extension might be coming this week, and Kershaw is now locked up through his age 32 season at just over $30 million per year, which is obviously a record for pitchers. It’s a tremendous amount of money to commit to a pitcher, but Kershaw will be only 26 this year, and he’s among the best in baseball. The Dodgers had to do this, and they’ve got the money to bear the risk. I doubt this deal alters the landscape for top pitching too much, given that Kershaw is both uncommonly elite and uncommonly young.

So, will the Dodgers still aggressively pursue Masahiro Tanaka? I guess we’ll see. I wouldn’t count it out.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

121 responses to “Dodgers Reportedly Agree on Seven-Year, $215 Million Extension with Clayton Kershaw”

  1. smackafilieyo

    RIDICULOUS!!!

    1. Edwin

      UNDERMARKET!!!

    2. hansman

      PROTEGO!

      Oh, wait. Damn, I’m a nerd.

      1. DarthHater

        10296214514_c880b9e07d_n.jpg

  2. BlameHendry

    $30 million per year…

    christ.

  3. Jon

    Well, it’s not the 300 million dollar deal.

    1. Xruben31

      I was hoping it would be…

  4. drcub1908

    Completely and completely insane..

    30 MILLION per year…about 1 MILLION per start on average..

    MLB has lost its mind…they really have..

    I am sorry…but as soon as the Cubs win it all…SALARY CAP

    1. Edwin

      I’m sure the owner’s would love that.

      As long as the revenue keeps growing, then we should expect contracts to keep growing.

      1. D.G.Lang

        The revenue is growing because the sponsors are willing to pay for the advertising.

        For the fans who but the sponsors products that might not be too bad, but for the customers who are not fans and might not even be favorable to sprots in general it may not be very pleasant to be paying the higher prices for those products which become necessary to pay for that advertising.

        In some cases where a national manufacturer only buys advertising for one or two teams but still has to raise prices nation wide to compensate for that advertising it might not be very agreeable to those who are not fans of the supported teams.

        As a Cub fan I would not want to be paying higher prices for a product which due to it’s advertising supports the Cardinals but not the cubs.

        I really don’t think that we should applaud those excessive salaries when we all as consumers have to pay for them through higher prices on the goods we buy.

        1. bbmoney

          I don’t really buy that argument.

          Advertisers are going to pay what they think makes sense for them to get their name out their to potential buyers. They aren’t going to pay more than they otherwise would because owners are paying more salaries and need more cash.

          They’d just advertise elsewhere. Stop watching games on TV or stop going to games if you want salaries to go down. It’s the only way. Advertisers and TV networks won’t pay as much to advertise their goods or for the rights to carry the games (to sell those advertising spots). That’ll drive down MLB revenues and then by extension the prices players can ask on their next contracts. Players don’t drive the market…we as consumers do.

    2. bbmoney

      Hey it’s our obssession with the sport and our willingness to spend big money on the MLB and buy products that advertisers hawk that allows them to do it.

      Salary cap would only limit the amount players make and transfer it to the owners. The only way to drive salaries down, without giving it to the owners, is to stop buying tickets, stop buying merchandise, and stop watching games on TV.

      1. hansman

        You could drive salaries down by taxing the owners over a certain revenue point so that rather than capping salaries you cap team revenues.

        Then just give all of that tax money to me to distribute fairly.

        1. bbmoney

          Can’t tell if sarcasm….well the first part at least.

          That’s just a whole different discussion I don’t want to have.

          1. hansman

            The first part is not sarcasm. That is a way you could limit salaries while not punishing only the players.

            It’d be dumber than hell but sometimes ideas are just that.

            1. Mile High Cub Fan

              Hansman, your first point is what the salary tax is supposed to be.

              1. hansman

                I’m not saying it is the only way to limit salaries. It would be the best way to “drive salaries down, without giving it to the owners”.

                1. bbmoney

                  Where’s this tax money going? Isn’t it going to other owners? To presumably either line the other owners pockets or to pay huge salaries?

                  1. Patrick W.

                    No. The tax goes mostly to the players retirement, etc. The first $2.5m is set aside for refunds, then 75% for player benefits and 25% to the Industry Growth Fund.

                    1. bbmoney

                      hard to argue with that.

      2. D.G.Lang

        If the money wasn’t coming in from the advertising the owners wouldn’t be able to offer the excessive salaries to the players. If there was no need for the excessive money to come in there wouldn’t be the pressure on the advertisers to supply it.

        If we as fans don’t want to see those excessive salaries being paid we should boycott the products being promoted by the sponsors and that means ALL of that sponsors products.

        Even though a sponsor might only advertise a single product or product line he most likely increased the prices on ALL of his products to avoid charging extremely high prices on only the products he advertises.

        There is no way around the consumers being stuck paying the bill for the product being televised, either they are going to pay for it with higher prices on goods (not good for the non fans) or via a tax to support government provided programming (not always very good or desirable in general) or a pay per view or subscription via cable or satellite which means the actual viewer of those events or programs are the ones who support it and not the public in general.

        Just like the old saying that there is no free lunch, there is also no free TV. Some one has to pay for it either knowingly and willingly via subscriptions or unknowingly and unwillingly via taxes or product advertising.

        As a consumer I would rather pay a reasonable monthly fee for the programs I want to watch than pay higher prices for goods I purchase or taxes which are used to create programs I never watch or even want to be available due to subject matter or behavior which I may disagree with.

      3. D.G.Lang

        In regards to not watching the events on TV, that doesn’t matter either way. It is only if we don’t purchase the advertisers products that we would be able to influence the advertisers.

        People who don’t watch those televised events/ programs/shows are still paying for them due to the higher prices they have to pay for ALL the products of those advertisers.

        1. bbmoney

          I’m no longer sure what you’re arguing. That issue has nothing to do with exploding baseball salaries anymore. Now you’re just talking about how companies determine prices for their goods and who gets to share in those costs.

          I’m just saying, it’s not baseball players fault that companies pay so much for advertising which generates money for the MLB which makes the player’s services valuable to their employer. Anything beyond that is outside the scope of what I’m willing to discuss on a Cubs website.

    3. Norm

      Great deal for the Dodgers.

      Why people want a salary cap is beyond me. More money for the owners? GREAT idea.

      1. Noah_I

        On top of that, I love how people think that the NFL is this paradigm of parity in sports. The past decade and a half has been largely dominated by not even just a few teams, but about a half dozen PLAYERS: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. Dating back to the 2001 season, one of those quarterbacks has won the Super Bowl in 10 of the last 12 seasons! Over the same time period in baseball, 9 teams have won the last 13 World Series, with Boston winning 3, St. Louis winning 2, and San Francisco winning 2. The only player involved in all three of Boston’s World Series wins? David Ortiz.

        1. Ron Swansons Mustache

          It is much easier to go from also-ran to contender in short period of time in the NFL than in baseball, which is where the parity discussion comes from, in my opinion.

          1. hansman

            I bet it’s not as common as you are led to believe. Doing a 30 second check on B-Ref got me the 2011 Brewers that went from 77 to 90+ wins in a single offseason. I’m sure I could find more.

            1. josh ruiter

              well start with the most recent & relevant example of the red sox of 2012-2013.

              1. bbmoney

                Orioles the year before. 69 wins in 2011 to 93 in 2012.

                1. hansman

                  06-07 Cubs

                  1. TWC

                    You can add in the ’83/’84 Cubs, as well as the ’88/’89, ’97/’98 and ’02/’03 teams.

                    Two consecutive years of good Cubs (’07-’08) were (unfortunately) an aberration.

                    So just wait ’til next year!

                    1. hansman

                      68-69.

                      But hey, it never happens in MLB. And dead franchises never happen in the NFL (raiders, browns, vikings, lions)

                      Front offices are underrated in sports.

        2. terencemann

          You also have to consider that players don’t have to spend at least 3 or more seasons in the minors in order to become viable players at the highest level in leagues like the NFL or NBA. Player development is really what sets MLB apart from other leagues, imo. Even in the NHL, which has a functioning minor league system, the developmental cycle doesn’t take as long.

        3. Patrick W.

          And how about Drew Brees?

          You said Drew Brees twice.

          I like Drew Brees.

          1. Patrick W.
            1. DarthHater

              If you have to explain your joke, man… :-P

              1. Patrick W.

                I think it was worth it.

  5. Edwin

    Nice.

  6. itzscott

    Gotta happen at some point…. The 1st Billion dollar player contract.

    It’s beyond obscene at $30 million per year.

    A person couldn’t spend $30 million in a year even if they tried hard simply because that money would be earning more money on top of it.

    1. Norm

      It’s an $8 Billion business. It’s not obscene at all.

      1. itzscott

        Spread among how many people?

        1. Norm

          I think Brett had an article on it. Normally it’s 50% to the players, but its less than that and less than the other sports.

    2. DarthHater

      Nonsense. I could easily spend way more than $30 million on a penthouse apartment in NYC, not to mention lots of other real estate.

      1. itzscott

        Realistically not…..

        1. hansman

          Rich folks go broke all the time.

          I could EASILY find ways to spend $30M a month, let alone a year.

          1. Fishin Phil

            That’s a lot of hamburgers!

            1. DarthHater

              I passed a McDonald’s last night and the sign in front said: Billions and billions sold. … Daily … To Hansman.

              1. mjhurdle

                HA!

                1. hansman

                  The truth hurts sometimes, I guess.

  7. Blake Z

    Rick Hahn was wise to lock up Chris Sale to cheap deal earlier in 2013.

    1. Noah_I

      Chris Sale is very, very good, but (a) he’s not Clayton Kershaw; and (b) four of the seven years covered by Sale’s deal and the option years are team control years. 2013 was his final pre-arb year, and 2014-2016 are his arbitration seasons. Kershaw would have been a free agent at the end of this coming season.

      So while it’s still a very good deal for the Sox if Sale stays healthy and effective, Sale wouldn’t have even been a free agent until after 2016, so he’d be starting that deal at age 28. He’d get a big, big contract, but not Kershaw big.

      1. Blake Z

        I wasn’t comparing the two, but you make some good points.

        1. bbmoney

          I was just going to add I agree with everything both of you have said.

  8. When The Musics Over

    Who says the Dodgers don’t have a mascot.

    maxresdefault.jpg

    1. When The Musics Over

      Damn, image too big. You get the point.

  9. Teigh Cubs Teigh

    Good for him. I’m glad the Cubs aren’t the ones to be paying his massive contract, but if the Dodgers are willing to take the risk and feel he is worth it then more power to him. I’d love to convince people that I was worth paying $30 million a year; good for Kershaw for being able to do just that.

  10. mjhurdle

    Carmen and Jurko on ESPN 1000 (via TuneIn) just referenced Bleacher Nation when talking about Tanaka’s expected price tag.

    1. smackafilieyo

      I heard that too…I listen to them daily and read all bleacher nation’s articles.

  11. Kyle

    That’s actually less than I thought he’d get, but that opt-out is nice for him.

    1. When The Musics Over

      Less per year, less total, or both?

      1. Kyle

        Less total. The per year sounds about right.

  12. Jon

    If a win share is worth 6 million per year, how is this deal “absurd”?

    1. terencemann

      I think just the money sounds crazy: 30 million per year. If you think about it in terms of what teams are giving free agents right now, it’s not absurd given his age and performance to date.

    2. When The Musics Over

      It’s not absurd in that it’s actual value vs. what the market should bear.

      I look at these massive pitching contracts that have become the norm and find them pretty crazy mostly due to pitcher attrition rates, especially the length of time it takes for these guys to recover from catastrophic injuries.

  13. BlameHendry

    Does anyone think he actually would have gotten a bigger contract in free agency? I honestly dont. Working out an extension is supposed to provide a little bit of a discount, but they gave him the same kind of contract he would have scored on the open market anyway.

    1. terencemann

      Not at this point. Once a player reaches their last arbitration year, it’s pretty hard to get them to stay for any sort of discount. That’s what happened with Joe Mauer.

    2. Edwin

      I think with more teams bidding, the price would have been higher. Based on current market conditions, he’s probably closer to a 7/242 deal, or higher.

    3. bbmoney

      I do. Perhaps not way bigger, but bigger.

      He also wasn’t that far away from FA, so the discount shouldn’t be all that big. You really only get a big discount if you’re signing guys 3+ years out from FA.

    4. mjhurdle

      i think he would have gotten around 31-32 with at least 1 more year if he hit FA.

      1. hansman

        I doubt he gets that opt-out year in FA.

        1. mjhurdle

          agreed, but then the team that doesn’t give that to him would have to increase their offer in other ways.
          I think he shatter’s ARod’s record salary if he went to FA.

        2. bbmoney

          Why not?

          Teams would have to compete to make their contract offer the most attractive…that’s a big selling point.

          1. hansman

            It seems to me that the Dodgers are the only team that is handing them out like this.

            1. DarthHater

              44916126.jpg

  14. jarder

    Generic unintelligible remark moralizing an inanimate object.

  15. Threat Level Midnight

    With Kershaw this puts the Dodgers right around the 220MM mark payroll-wise. Are they really going to pony up another 20MM+ per year with Tanaka (plus posting fee)? Run a 250MM payroll once their arb players shake out?

    I think this puts them all but out on Tanaka.

    Not that that puts the Cubs in the driver’s seat by any means.

    1. CubFan Paul

      “Are they really going to pony up another 20MM+ per year with Tanaka (plus posting fee)? Run a 250MM payroll once their arb players shake out?”

      From Rosenthal:
      Sources tell me and @jonmorosi that #Dodgers still want another SP. Tanaka an ownership call. Arroyo on short list of possible alternatives

      Dodgers are OUT on Tanaka pretty much, just as I’ve been saying.

      1. mjhurdle

        How does that tweet indicate that the Dodgers are out on Tanaka, just like you’ve been saying all along?

        1. CubFan Paul

          The thought of Arroyo was the first indication.

  16. BT

    I bet the Cubs didn’t even make him an offer. Typical.

    1. woody

      He probably didn’t like the carp sushi from the lake!

    2. hansman

      Just wait, in a few hours we will get a report coming out saying the Cubs were in talks and had an offer out to him. It’ll be in Theo’s handwriting but pay no attention to that.

    3. Jason P

      At least they can still make an offer to Max Scherzer and Homer Bailey.

  17. woody

    Hey at least Kershaw has a couple of Cy Young awards. He is a proven commodity..Give Tanaka 25 million a year. Nuts!

  18. smackafilieyo

    Be hilarious if Kershaw blew his arm out and need TJS…$31 million a year to rehab, haha

    1. bbmoney

      Injuries are usually hilarious.

      On a more practical note, I’d imagine the Dodgers have already purchased some insurance against a Kershaw injury.

    2. On The Farm

      That would be pretty hysterical..

    3. DarthHater

      Be even funnier if his arm blew off his shoulder, flew into the stands, and seriously injured a fan. That would really be hilarious.

      1. hansman

        I would die laughing if his arm flew off a 99% of the speed of light.

        http://what-if.xkcd.com/1/

        1. DarthHater

          “I would die if his arm flew off at 99% of the speed of light.”

          FTFY

          1. hansman

            Eh, I don’t think Des Moines is close enough to any MLB stadiums to be within the blast radius.

      2. itzscott

        That almost happened to that Padre pitcher…. forgot his name.

        1. noisesquared

          Dave Dravecky?

          1. DarthHater

            Yep. That was sure a funny one.

  19. brainiac

    great contract for a spectacular pitcher. can anyone imagine the cubs ever investing in winning like this, even after the minor leaguers are ready?

  20. Fastball

    Shouldn’t wish an injury to a kid because he is gonna make a lot of money and he doesn’t play for us. That’s bad karma. I am happy for him. His owners have enough to pay him so he has every right to make as much as they will give him. He’s a 1 in a bunch of millions who get to have this kind of opportunity. Don’t hate on the player, hate on the game. Not his fault he’s really good at pitching.

    1. smackafilieyo

      Not saying it’s funny he gets injured and I don’t wish that upon him. Just saying baseball is guaranteed money unlike NFL. However chancing $31 million a year on an arm is crazy, but it’s not my money…I would love to have Clayton. Pitchers arms don’t last forever….

  21. Fastball

    If he pops a hemaroid they collect insurance money on him don’t worry about that.

  22. Jason P

    MLB needs more revenue sharing. There’s no reason teams should be at a competitive disadvantage just because they happen to play in a smaller city.

    Without the $250 million payroll, the Dodgers are maybe a .500 team.

    1. Blackhawks1963

      Bullcrap. Tampa, Oakland and now Pittsburgh completely refute the argument for a salary cap. If the Dodgers or Yankees want to spend and blow thru the luxury tax then let them.

      1. Jason P

        The Yankees have been consistently good forever. The Dodgers only recently became the payroll giant they are. The 3 teams you mentioned all struggled through long periods of futility before becoming as good as they are today.

        Money is Inarguably a competitive advantage.

  23. NorthSideIrish

    Great deal for Kershaw, especially with the opt out. I would rather have Wainwright for 5 years and $97.5M though.

  24. Blackhawks1963

    Kershaw is the best pitcher in the game. Maybe an argument can be made for King Felix. A benchmark of $30 M a season is out of this world. But it’s what the market shall bear.

    But hey, at least the big market Cubs have allowed Theo to acquire a backup catcher who can’t throw or hit, two fifth outfielders, and two dumpster finds for the pen !!! Thank you Ricketts !!!

  25. waffle

    if anyone is worth it it’s him
    but
    30 mill a year? GEEEZ. That is not alot of money, that is CRAZY money

  26. Blackhawks1963

    Wait until the Angels pay Trout and the Nationals pay Harper! Wo we those two are going to see a whopper of a payday.

  27. Diehardthefirst

    Lloyd’s of London first layer and then reinsurance on top of reinsurance- spread the risk- All he had to give up was surf boarding

    1. TWC

      “Surf boarding”?!!? How old ARE you, gramps?

      1. Diehardthefirst

        I cheered Tony Taylor as a rookie

  28. David

    I can hear Shark going to the Cubs and saying “I’m half the pitcher Kershaw is…. I’ll take 7 years at only $107MM”. He must be licking his chops!!!

  29. RoughRider

    I know it’s supply and demand but, the more money they pay the players the higher the tickets go. They will price the average fan out, if they haven’t already.

    1. bbmoney

      I think it’s the other way. Ticket prices are based on the price people are willing to pay…. As are TV deals…. Etc.

      That determines teams revenues which then sets the level players can demand to be paid for their very valuable services.

      The only thing that will drive contracts down is a league wide reduction in revenues which only happens if fans are willing to pay less and/or stop watching on TV. Owners may try to spin it that ticket prices are high because of large salaries, but it’s all just PR crap. They charge exactly what they think will maximize their revenues. Which is exactly what all for profit businesses do ( or should at least).

  30. mjhurdle

    totally off topic, but hilarious take on craft beer drinkers :)

    Sahadev Sharma ‏@sahadevsharma 48m
    Hipsters ordering beer… http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/4590592

    1. MichiganGoat

      That made me laugh it was just missing a goat.

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