clayton kershaw january 2014There doesn’t seem to be any shortage of money in Major League Baseball, especially in Los Angeles as the Dodgers have resigned their pitching ace Clayton Kershaw to a new seven-year deal that’s worth a total of $215 million.

He was also paid a signing bonus of $18 million. Kershaw will make $22 million in the 2014 season, which is made up of the signing bonus and a salary of $4 million.

In 2015, Kershaw will be paid $30 million. The following year, his salary will be $32 million followed by $33 million for both 2017 and 2018 and then back to $32 million in 2019 with the final year of the deal in 2020 also being worth $33 million.

Reports said that there is an opt-out clause in the left-handed pitcher’s contract which can be triggered after five years. This would allow Kershaw to become a free agent when he’s 30 years old and he could then be in line for another huge payday if he’s still an effective pitcher.

Kershaw’s new deal sets a MLB record for a pitcher. The biggest contract for a hurler up until now was the $180 million seven-year deal signed by Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers.

Kershaw had an excellent season in 2013 and was recognized for it by winning the National League Cy Young Award. He also took the trophy home with him after the 2011 season and was the runner-up in voting in 2012.

Kershaw finished the season with a record of 16-9 along with a earned-run average of 1.83. He also struck out 232 batters in 236 innings pitched.

Kershaw has led the Major Leagues in earned run average for the last three years, and the 25-year-old is considered by many to be the best all-round pitcher in all of baseball. He’s also recognized for the work he does away from the ball park, too, as Kershaw commits a lot of his time and energy to charity work.

In 2012, he won the Roberto Clemente Award and in 2013 he was honored with the Branch Rickey Award. He received these honors for his work with charitable ventures such as Arise Africa and Kershaw's Challenge.

With Kershaw being signed to the long-term deal, the Dodgers now boast one of the best starting rotations on MLB. They also have Hyun-jin Ryu and Zack Greinke under contract until the end of the 2018 campaign.

The Dodgers are also reportedly interested in acquiring the services of ace pitcher Masahiro Tanaka of Japan. If the Dodgers managed to sign Tanaka, they would be one of the favorites to take the World Series next season.

Along with Kershaw, Greinke and Ryu as starters, the club also has Josh Beckett, Stephen Fife, Chad Billingsley and Dan Haren on the books as well as several top pitching prospects such as Zach Lee.

These quality players don’t come cheap, though. The Dodgers will have the higher payroll in the Major Leagues in 2014, which will see the club for over more than $200 million in salaries. Six players will be making a minimum of $17.5 million per year up until the 2017 season.

However, that could possibly change if the team decides to make any trades.


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