Pitcher Clayton Kershaw agreed Wednesday to a $215 million, seven-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press, a deal that makes the two-time Cy Young Award winner baseball's first player with a $30 million average salary.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not yet been announced.
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Kershaw receives the most lucrative deal for a pitcher, breaking the mark of $180 million set by Justin Verlander last March for his seven-year contract with Detroit.
The average salary of $30.7 million tops the previous high of $27.5 million, set by the New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez as part of a 10-year agreement December 2007. While Roger Clemens had a contract with a listed salary of $28 million with the Yankees in 2007, he joined the team in June and actually made $17.4 million.
Kershaw's agreement, first reported by ESPN.com, is baseball's seventh of $200 million or more. Among current contracts, it trails only the agreements of Rodriguez, Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto ($251.5 million over 12 years), Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols ($240 million over 10 years) and Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano ($240 million over 10 years).
A left-hander who turns 26 in March, Kershaw won NL Cy Young Awards in 2011 and 2013. He was 16-9 for the NL West champion Dodgers last year and led the league with 232 strikeouts, and his 1.83 ERA was the best in the major leagues since Pedro Martinez's 1.74 for Boston in 2000.