Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers struck a deal for a $215 million extension, and what a relief for the Dodgers that they secured the best starting pitcher in baseball.
For an organization that hasn't won the World Series in 25 years, this is the biggest win of the year — and the season hasn't even started yet.
The Dodgers gave Kershaw a $215 million extension over seven years that pays him the highest average salary in baseball history at $30.7 million per year.
And he's worth every penny.
The deal — first reported by ESPN — has an opt-out clause after five years.
As long as he stays healthy, Kershaw is a sure thing.
This is not $200 million for Alex Rodriguez.
This is $200 million for Kershaw, who oozes confidence, results and potential championships.
It was the right move for the Dodgers, no matter the financial cost. Kershaw is the most dominant pitcher in the game, a leader in the clubhouse and an inspirational humanitarian off the field. And, he continues to work on his game to boot.
Kershaw won the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award, given to an athlete who best exemplifies baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and contribution to his team.
Kershaw has his own foundation, Kershaw's Challenge, and he and his wife, Ellen, travel to Africa each offseason to help children.
There's not much to not like about Kershaw. This mega-dollars contract comes with pressure no matter your resume, but Kershaw has a solid foundation to combat that.
Pitching and defense win championships, and who could forget Kershaw pitching on three days' rest to help the Dodgers close out the National League Division Series over Atlanta?
Kershaw wanted to do that. He asked to do that. Money can't buy that kind of competitiveness.
The Dodgers were two wins away from the World Series, and Kershaw will have them continuing to knock on that door, provided he continues to have the players around him.
Kershaw, 25, was born in 1988, the last time the Dodgers won the World Series.
“I don't think about (1988) honestly, but it's definitely ingrained,” Kershaw told the Daily News last year. “That's all we hear around here, the '88 team and all that stuff. It'd be nice to stop hearing about it and start our own history.
“The Dodgers obviously have a ton of history. That's part of the organization, which is awesome. It'd be fun for people to start talking about our team.”
A World Series ring would do that, and the Kershaw deal gives the Dodgers more bling.
In 2013, Kershaw won his second Cy Young Award in the past three years and was 16-9 with a 1.83 ERA (the lowest in the majors since Pedro Martinez had a 1.74 ERA with Boston in 2000).
Aside from that outing that ended the Dodgers' season in Game 6 of the NLCS in St. Louis, Kershaw is superior.
So much is coming up roses since the Guggenheim Partners bought the Dodgers for $2.1 billion.
They keep spending money, which shows the commitment to win a championship.
Tweeted Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp: “Congrats 2 the best pitcher in baseball and great teammate @ClaytonKersh22 on his deal!”
And catcher A.J. Ellis could barely contain his excitement: “Big winner today.....me. I am blessed to catch best in the game for the foreseeable future God willing. Congrats Kersh!”
Ellis wins. Kershaw wins. The Dodgers win.
Everyone wins with the Kershaw deal.