Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Kershaw And Dodgers Agree On Two-Year Deal

The Dodgers and Cy Young Award Winner Clayton Kershaw agreed to a two-year $19 million deal today to avoid arbitration. Kersh will earn $7.5 million in 2012 and $11 million in 2013. The deal also includes a $500,00 signing bonus.

From Dodgers.com:  
Kershaw, 24 next month, accepted $19 million for two years to avoid arbitration, after earning $500,000 last year. He had sought a $10 million salary, with the club offering $6.5 million and a hearing scheduled for Feb. 14. 
Colletti confirmed the sides discussed deals for one, two and four years, plus an option. New negotiator Alex Tamin was prepared to go to a hearing and argue that Kershaw's $10 million asking price was an overreach, but the sides were able to work things out. 

Kershaw said he had no specific toys he wanted to buy with the money -- which included a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $7.5 million and $11 million -- but said he "needs to get Cy Young presents for the people who have helped me out along the way." 

A 2011 All-Star, Kershaw won the NL's Triple Crown for pitching: leading the league with 21 wins (tied), a 2.28 ERA and 248 strikeouts. Sandy Koufax (1963, '65 and '66) and Dazzy Vance (1924) are the only other Dodgers pitchers to win the Triple Crown. Kershaw was also among league leaders in opponents' batting average, innings pitched, complete games, shutouts and WHIP. 

Kershaw (21-5 overall) was named winner of an NL Gold Glove Award (leading the league with nine pickoffs), the first Dodger to win a Cy Young and Gold Glove in the same year since Orel Hershiser. He also won the Warren Spahn Award as the best left-handed pitcher in MLB; won Players Choice outstanding pitcher in the NL; was named to The Sporting News NL All-Star team; was a finalist for the Roberto Clemente Award; and was named Dodgers pitcher of the year by MLB.com. 

Kershaw's wins and ERA were the best for a Dodgers starting pitcher since Hershiser in 1988, and his strikeout total was the best for a Dodger since Koufax's 317 in 1966. He became the Dodgers' first 20-game winner since Ramon Martinez in 1990. Kershaw went 13-1 over the second half, 12-1 at Dodger Stadium, and finished the season with eight consecutive wins. 

Kershaw began his third full season in the Major Leagues as the Opening Day starter, and ended it by becoming the youngest 20-game winner in the Major Leagues since 20-year-old Dwight Gooden in 1985 -- and the youngest Dodgers 20-game winner since 21-year-old Ralph Branca won 21 games in 1947. He went 12-2 against the NL West -- 5-0 against the Giants and 4-0 against their ace, two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum.
I wish they would have been able to give him more years, but I think Dodger fans will still be happy. I also think the Dodgers got a great deal here. I can't wait for the season to start!


  1. Great deal for Kershaw and good deal for the Dodgers. This doesn't affect Kershaw's free agency eta, and guarantees him money in case of a an arm injury. The Dodgers meanwhile, maybe saved 2-3 million on his arbitration case next season. The Dodgers will hopefully try to sign him long term, but seeing as how Colletti hasn't been wise at giving out contracts I think that Kershaw is taking the Dodgers for a ride. Not that I blame him, if you can legally get paid extremely well for your amazing skills, why not? I hope the next owner signs someone else more saber metric leaning.

    1. I know it must be tough giving pitchers long-term, big money contracts, but I think the smart thing to do here would have been to buy out all the arb years and at least one free agency year. It seems like they tried to get this done. In the end, this deal makes both parties happy for the next two seasons. If Kershaw duplicates his 2011 season though, the Dodgers better be prepared to pay him like Tim Lincecum in 2014.