Dodgers, Kershaw To Sign Two-Year Deal

The Dodgers announced that they have avoided arbitration with Clayton Kershaw, agreeing to terms on a two-year contract. The deal is worth $19MM, Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times tweets.

Clayton Kershaw - Dodgers

The contract buys out Kershaw's first two seasons of arbitration eligibility, but doesn't delay his free agency. He will be arbitration eligible for the final time following the 2013 season and eligible for free agency following the 2014 season. The left-handed Hendricks Sports client obtains a $500K signing bonus, $7.5MM in 2012 and $11MM in 2013, Hernandez tweets.

The Dodgers had submitted a $6MM offer via arbitration, and Kershaw (pictured) countered with $10MM ($3MM shy of the figure Tim Lincecum submitted as a first-time arbitration eligible player two offseasons ago). The Dodgers have now signed all of their arbitration eligible players for 2012, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows.

Kershaw won the 2011 NL Cy Young Award after putting together a phenomenal season. The 2006 first rounder posted a 2.28 ERA with 9.6 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 233 1/3 innings, leading the National League in the traditional Triple Crown categories (wins, ERA and strikeouts). Roy Halladay was the lone NL pitcher to produce more WAR than Kershaw's 6.8 in 2011, according to FanGraphs.

Lincecum and the Giants and Cole Hamels and the Phillies also avoided arbitration with short-term extensions that covered early seasons of arbitration eligibility. Lincecum obtained $23MM for his first two seasons of arbitration eligibility, and Hamels obtained $11MM for the same chunk of his career (both Lincecum and Hamels were super two players; Kershaw is not a super two). The number to beat for first-time eligible starters going year to year still sits in the $4.35MM range (Dontrelle Willis and Jered Weaver).

Photo courtesy Icon SMI.

33 Responses to Dodgers, Kershaw To Sign Two-Year Deal Leave a Reply

  1. Dodgers locking up 2 out of 3 arb years, I like it.  Looking forward to new ownership buying out the final year when they ink a long-term contract.  

  2. Sajju Shah 3 years ago

    Another 2 year deal this off-season! Well, the only player who actually deserved one got one. 

  3. Red Dave 3 years ago


  4. diesel2410 3 years ago

    Definitely thought he’d get more…I guess they overpay for bad players and underpay for the Cy Young winner? Still a good deal though

    • BlueSkyLA
      BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

      Not for a first year arbitration. He asked for $10m, which would have been record had he gotten it. The Dodgers countered with $6.5m. Midpoint between the two is $8.25m. Add the $500k bonus to $7.5m and you get… right on the money.

      • diesel2410 3 years ago

        I meant in terms of years, should have made that more clear

        • start_wearing_purple
          start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

          It’s possible that Kershaw and his agent didn’t want to go for a third year or more. My guess is he just wanted some quick financial security.

          Though I am surprised He didn’t get more money. If he has another great year then he probably could have gotten much more than $11M for next year.

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            Depends on how the hearings went this year..

            if he was building off the 6 that the dodgers offered, no way he’d get to 11 for next year.

            its a nice compromise imo

          • crashcameron 3 years ago

            “quick financial security.”exactly. dude’s getting $18.5 M. live long and prosper. and if you can’t on that, you deserve not to. Cy Young at a young age doesn’t guarantee H of F career and a $100 mill or two. See Webb, Brandon.

      • vtadave 3 years ago

        Pretty sure he would have received far more than $11 million in arbitration in 2013 though.  Good deal for the Dodgers, at least until the new owner adds on another 5 years.

    • crashcameron 3 years ago

      it’s Neal Coletti collective bargaining

  5. I think Kershaw should have held out and tried FA when he was able to. he would get more money. but its a good deal for the dodgers, they dont have to pay CJ wilson money to keep him and they kept their best pitcher and one of the best pitchers in Baseball around. until the new owners decide to clean house.

    • Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

       He didn’t give up any free agent years.

    • Sajju Shah 3 years ago

      Do you know what you are talking about? He didn’t give up any Free Agent years. He simply “cashed in” his pending Arb years for guaranteed money. He will still be a Free Agent after 2014 (if not locked up before that)

    • monkeydung 3 years ago

      if, in fact, the new owners clean house, kershaw, kemp, and a few of the younger prospects (gordon, sands, de la rosa, etc.) will not be going anywhere.

    • vtadave 3 years ago

      Yeah the quickest way to improving the team and endearing yourself to a fanbase as a new owner – kick a 23 year-old top-3 overall pitcher to the curb.

    • gmenfan 3 years ago

      This doesn’t change anything in terms of when he hits free agency. It simply ensures that he’s going to make a fat load of cash before he’s able to test the open market as a FA.

  6. Ryan The Braves Fan For Life 3 years ago

    He needs $15million a year for 6 years
    beast young talent

    • Dylan 3 years ago

      I’m pretty sure you mean 25 mill for the next 8 years…

    • vtadave 3 years ago

      6/90? Where do I sign up for that?

      – Dodger fan

      • Amish_willy 3 years ago

        Factoring in the deal he just signed, and say 14m for his last arbitration season (if they were guaranteeing that figure today) would leave his 3 FA year’s at 19m a piece figuring 6/90m. Jake Peavy signed his 3/52m extension after he won his unanimous CY while being two years from free agency. He’d be getting more than Verlander or King Felix got, with him signing his deal a year further from free agency then either of those two.

        This is the exact same route they took with Kemp. Suprised they didn’t make him a big 5-6 year offer while they still had some leverage. Seems like any chance they had to sign him to a long deal at less then market FA rates just vanished.

        With his current contract expiring at the same time Lincecum is set to reach free agency, man you can only imagine what his demands are going to be in two years.

        Seriously, why wasn’t this guy locked up last year??? Obviously the Dodgers can afford to wait on extensions, even if it ends up costing a ton more in doing so, but I don’t really get why they wouldn’t have been more proactive with Kershaw considering how great a start his career had gotten off to. It’s not like they couldn’t handle the downside, and the upside is something they would be salvating over right now.

  7. TommyL 3 years ago

    Makes sense for both sides. Kershaw has $19 million in financial security even if his arm falls off tomorrow; Dodgers don’t have to worry about arbitration until 2014.

  8. aprilglaspie 3 years ago

    Best pitcher in baseball. Unlimited cash.

  9. redsx968 3 years ago

    Can’t believe I missed this yesterday… Great deal for the time being for the Dodgers. Can’t wait to see what he’s going to get in free agency, though.

  10. Red Dave 3 years ago

    Ryan lavarnway

  11. NickinIthaca 3 years ago

    What do any of these players have to do with Clayton Kershaw, and his two year deal?

  12. BlueSkyLA
    BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

    I think your premise is faulty. First of all, nobody gets their pockets picked in arbitration. If the player thinks the team’s offer is way off the mark, they go to the board. Second, service time aside, it still makes sense to compare a first year arbitration to a first year arbitration. Kershaw gets $8m this season, $1m less than Lincecum and $11m next, $3m less than Lincecum. Kershaw could easily be in the $20m neighborhood or beyond in 2014.

  13. Tko11 3 years ago

    Rusty Kuntz

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