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Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers reportedly agree to $215 million contract extension

Clayton KershawClayton Kershaw is getting paid. A lot of money.

The southpaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed on a 7-year, $215 million contract extension, according to ESPN LA’s Ramona Shelburne. Kershaw, 25, just completed his sixth season in the bigs. He has gone 77-46 with a 2.60 career ERA, and he has won the Cy Young Award in two of the past three seasons.

The Dodgers were working to sign Kershaw to a long-term extension all season. They reportedly offered him a lifetime-type deal that would have paid him over $300 million, but Kershaw supposedly was hesitant to sign for that many years. This contract will allow Kershaw the ability to opt out after five years, according to Shelburne.

At over $30 million per season and $215 million overall, Kershaw will now be the highest-paid pitcher in history in both total money and average annual value. It’s hard to say he’s not deserving on it based on what he’s done, but there are definitely questions about whether he’ll be able to make it through the whole contract.

Kershaw has thrown at least 227 innings each of the past three seasons, including 259 innings last season (adding in the playoffs). At this rate, the dude’s arm is going to fall off before long.

Vince McMahon sending Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw Cy Young championship belts

Vince McMahon power walkDetroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer and Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw took home the Cy Young Awards for their respective leagues on Thursday. Thanks to Vince McMahon, the best is yet to come.

After Scherzer and Kershaw were officially announced as winners, Major League Baseball’s official Twitter account sent out mock-ups of WWE-style championship belts with their names and achievements on them. McMahon caught wind of it and apparently like the idea, so he claims he is going to have the belts made and send them to Scherzer and Kershaw.

Just when the two aces thought their day couldn’t get any better, the WWE boss comes along and provides the “pinch me” moment. It’s a great day to be a Cy Young Award winner.

H/T The Big Lead

Dodgers reportedly offered Clayton Kershaw $300 million contract

Clayton KershawClayton Kershaw is the best young pitcher in baseball, and the Los Angeles Dodgers would like to keep him in blue for the rest of his career. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Dodgers offered Kershaw essentially a lifetime contract in the range of $300 million this season that the pitcher turned down.

Kershaw is entering his final season of team control and will be eligible for arbitration next season. The Dodgers want to lock him up long term and approached him with the contract offer during the season. Olney says the deal was not signed because Kershaw may have been hesitant to essentially make a lifetime commitment to the team, and because he did not want to negotiate during the season. But the word is that the two sides should be able to reach an agreement on a long-term deal this offseason for perhaps fewer years.

Whatever Kershaw signs for will almost certainly set a record for the largest contract ever for a pitcher. The Dodgers signed Zack Greinke to a 6-year, $147 million free agent deal in the offseason. He’s an excellent pitcher, but he’s not at Kershaw’s level. Kershaw won the Cy Young Award two years ago, should have won it last year, and will win it this season. Along with Justin Verlander and probably Felix Hernandez, he’s the best pitcher in baseball. Verlander signed an extension that schedules for him to make $180 million over a seven-year span. Hernandez signed an extension that calls for him to earn $175 million over seven years. Kershaw will almost certainly sign for over $200 million.

I really hate giving such a long-term contract to a pitcher and think it’s probably a good thing for the Dodgers Kershaw didn’t accept a $300 million lifetime deal. They’re different pitchers, but look at what happened with Tim Lincecum. The guy was set to sign a huge deal and passed on it, and now he’d be lucky to sign a two-year deal as a free agent. CC Sabathia was one of the most durable pitchers in baseball, and now his contract with the Yankees looks like a bad one.

Pitchers’ arms burn out. It’s inevitable. Long-term deals for them are not advised. The Dodgers should be happy Kershaw didn’t sign such a big contract. And if the Dodgers planned to make such a huge investment in the lefty, then you think they’d be protecting him more and not having him throw high-stress innings in the playoffs on short rest and have him stay out against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 when he already has a high pitch count. They are really burning out his arm.

Dodgers unnecessarily pitching Clayton Kershaw on short rest

Clayton KershawThe Los Angeles Dodgers were flirting with the idea of pitching ace Clayton Kershaw on short rest for Game 4 of the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves on Monday, and they announced that they would be going forward with the plan. While the move may allow them to clinch the series on Monday, I think it’s an unnecessary risk.

Kershaw pitched brilliantly in the Dodgers’ Game 1 win in Atlanta last Thursday. He’s the best pitcher in baseball on regular rest. The team is already up 2-1 and planned to have Ricky Nolasco pitch Game 4. The Braves are going with Freddy Garcia, who is a weak link on their pitching staff in my opinion. The Dodgers have a very good chance of winning Game 4 in a Nolasco-Garcia matchup, so why push Kershaw to pitch a day early?

Pitching Kershaw on short rest creates some uncertainty. Teams only pitch their aces on short rest, thinking that will give them an advantage. But we’ve seen many times in the past where aces on short rest just looked like average guys.

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Clayton Kershaw upset that Pluto is no longer recognized as a planet (Video)

Clayton-Kershaw-Jimmy-KimmelLos Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Monday night and discussed the success his team has had this season among other things. One of the more interesting topics arose when Kershaw spoke about his family history. As some of you may know, the left-hander’s great-uncle discovered the planet Pluto.

While it sounds like some sort of elaborate joke, it actually checks out. I doubt Princeton’s website would lie about it, and even they say that the late Clyde Tombaugh was Kershaw’s great-uncle. Several years ago, scientists determined that Pluto was no longer one of the nine planets and is instead a dwarf planet — one of more than 100,000 of its kind. That was a sad day for the Kershaw family.

“My great uncle discovered Pluto,” Kershaw explained. “I know that sounds like a joke when it comes out, but it’s true. And they took it away from us. They say it’s a dwarf planet now.

“What scientists just get in a room one day and say, ‘Ah, you know what, we’re out with Pluto?’ I mean how do you do that?”

Some Dodgers fans are well aware that Kershaw’s great uncle is a famous astronomer, and the 25-year-old says they have sent him T-shirts to show their support for his family’s discovery.

“You know what’s funny,” Kershaw continued. “Some fans have actually sent me shirts that say ‘Pluto is still a planet in our hearts,’ so I appreciate that.”

And Kershaw thought not being named the All-Star starter and contract talks going public were frustrating? His great-uncle must be rolling over in his grave.

Clayton Kershaw ‘hurt’ by Bruce Bochy’s comments about All-Star Game starter

clayton-kershawSan Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who is managing the National League squad at the 2013 MLB All-Star Game, announced on Monday that Matt Harvey will be starting on the mound for the NL. When speaking to reporters about the decision, Bochy insisted it had nothing to do with the fact that the game is being held in New York.

“It wouldn’t have mattered what city we were playing in with the year he’s had,” Bochy said, via the LA Times.

Harvey has pitched tremendously throughout the first half, posting a 7-2 record with a 2.35 ERA and striking out 147 batters. Bochy likely made his comments to make sure Harvey gets enough credit and is not just seen as a pitcher who got the start by default in his home ballpark.

Bochy also pointed out that Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright were candidates to earn the starting job, but his remark about Harvey starting no matter where the game was seemed to upset Kershaw.

“It hurts,” Kershaw said according to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. “Yeah, it hurts.”

Kershaw also noted that he found out about the decision while watching TV. The 25-year-old is 8-6 and has posted an incredible 1.98 ERA this season. I doubt anyone would have been surprised if he was named the starter but, again, I think Bochy was just trying to prove he did not give Harvey the honor strictly because the game is at Citi Field.

We’re talking about the All-Star Game here, not Game 1 of the World Series. Bochy certainly wasn’t trying to offend anyone. Fans are probably glad Kershaw cares about the event, but he could afford to lighten up a bit.

Clayton Kershaw upset with Dodgers over contract talks leak

clayton-kershawThe Los Angeles Dodgers are currently working toward making 25-year-old ace Clayton Kershaw a very rich man, but the left-hander would prefer if we didn’t know anything about it. On Sunday, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported that the Dodgers have made progress on a seven-year extension for Kershaw worth roughly $180 million, which would make him the highest-paid pitcher in the league.

Rosenthal also noted that LA and Kershaw have discussed monster deals worth 10 years, $250 million and 12 years, $300 million. Kershaw has no idea how the public got this information.

“I think the reason we’ve been able to continue discussions this long is that it hasn’t been talked about (publicly),” he said Sunday, via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. “Now that it’s being talked about, it’s a distraction because I’m being asked about it.”

When asked if he was upset that the talks had gone public, Kershaw simply said “yeah.” He then elaborated and stopped just barely short of blaming the Dodgers.

“I don’t love the fact that I have to talk about it,” he said. “You’ll have to ask them why they talked about it now. We had an agreement we weren’t going to talk about. It didn’t come from our side. That’s all I can say.”

In this the booming era of social media, the leak could have come from anywhere. Considering they are looking to lock Kershaw up before he hits free agency, I don’t see how the Dodgers would benefit from releasing information about their private discussions with him. While I understand that Kershaw would prefer to not have to deal with the distraction of discussing it with the media, players rarely — if ever — have that luxury.