The Dodgers and pitcher Clayton Kershaw have agreed to a 7-year contract extension worth $215 million, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com and Jon Heyman of CBSsports.com on Twitter. Kershaw would be able to opt out of the contract after five years, according to Shelburne’s tweet.
If the terms as reported are correct, that’s the richest contract ever for a baseball player in terms of average annual value — $30.7 million a season. It’s also smaller than the Dodgers’ $300 million contract offer that some had reported.
The previous record for average annual salary was $28 million, which the Yankees paid Roger Clemens in 2007. In terms of total value, a $215 million contract would be the sixth-largest of all time.
A.J. Ellis, the Dodgers’ starting catcher and Kershaw’s best friend on the team, virtually confirmed the new contract with this reaction on Twitter:
Big winner today……me. I am blessed to catch best in the game for foreseeable future God willing. Congrats Kersh!
— AJ Ellis (@AJEllis17) January 15, 2014