Kershaw, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, has
signed a seven-year contract, the Dodgers confirmed on Friday.
Though no financial details were disclosed by the club, the deal has
been widely reported to be worth a record-breaking $215 million,
making left-hander Kershaw the highest paid pitcher ever.
His contract eclipses the $180 million five-year deal signed by
Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander in March.
"There has been a lot of attention about this being the biggest
contract for a pitcher in baseball," Dodgers president Stan Kasten
"That is the case, and if someone should have that contract, it
should be the best pitcher in baseball, which is what we regard
Kershaw, 25, said he was excited by the opportunity.
"With this contract comes tremendous responsibility, not only as a
pitcher, but as a good steward of the resources given to me.
"To whom much is given, much is required. I'm humbled by this
recognition and looking forward to a new season, and hopefully, a
World Series championship for the city of Los Angeles."
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Three-time All-Star Kershaw, who had filed for salary
arbitration on Tuesday, has won two Cy Young awards in the last
three seasons with his latest coming in a campaign that saw him
finish 16-9 with a Major League-best earned run average of 1.83.
According to multiple reports, Kershaw has been offered an
opt-out after five years and the annual value of his contract,
$30.714 million, is a record for a player at any position.
"There are great players and pitchers in the game. And then
there are those who are truly special," Dodgers general manager
Ned Colletti said.
"Clayton is not only among the elite of this era, but the
perspective he and (his wife) Ellen bring to their lives in
helping others is equally remarkable."
Kershaw and his wife have established several charitable
initiatives and make annual trips to Africa where their
foundation has set up an orphanage for 'at-risk' children in
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles;
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