News broke moments ago that the Los Angeles Dodgers had finally inked their lefty ace, Clayton Kershaw, to a deal that will make him a Dodger into his thirties. Ramona Shelbourne, a senior writer for ESPN, first broke the news on Twitter and Buster Olney endorsed it shortly thereafter:
The Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw have agreed on a seven year, $215 million contract, sources have told ESPN. Out after five
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) January 15, 2014
Coming in at just over $30 million per year, Kershaw’s seven-year contract seems to be lofty but is actually less burdensome than some were predicting. Many believed Kershaw would receive a contract in the $300 million neighborhood which would almost certainly guarantee the two-time Cy Young Award winner as a Dodger for the next decade.
Some skeptics argued that nailing down Kershaw with such a lengthy and hefty contract would be too much of a financial load for the organization, especially as General Manager Ned Colletti finds himself in a bidding war for Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka. This is pure foolishness. As long as the Dodgers keep Kershaw in the rotation for a long time to come, Tanaka is not important. Would it be nice to add another potential star to the pitching staff? Yes. Is getting Tanaka more important than solidifying the future with Kershaw? Not a chance.
With Kershaw signed on for the next seven years, the Dodgers stand a solid chance to ride the Texas-native’s arm to the playoffs on a yearly basis. As long as the organization can keep a solid rotation behind him and a group of powerful bats in the lineup, the Boys in Blue will remain successful. Signing Kershaw is a huge success for the entire Dodgers’ organization and they will not regret it.