Clayton Kershaw is staying with the Los Angeles Dodgers, agreeing to a $93 million, three-year contract after he initially opted out and chose free agency.
The agreement was reached Friday, when Kershaw opted out of a $215 million, seven-year contract that had two seasons remaining at a total of $65 million.
The left-hander gets an additional $28 million in guaranteed money. The new agreement includes $4 million annually in performance bonuses, in four $1 million increments for 24, 26, 28 and 30 games started, which could raise the deal’s value to $105 million over three years.
He also can earn award bonuses of $1.5 million for winning the NL Cy Young Award or $500,000 for finishing second or third in the voting.
Also Friday, the Dodgers made $17.9 million qualifying offers to two of their other free agents: pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu and catcher Yasmani Grandal.
Winner of the NL Cy Young in 2011, ’13 and ’14, Kershaw was limited to 26 starts this year because of a back injury and went 9-5 with a 2.73 ERA while striking out 155. The Dodgers lost in the World Series for the second straight season, with Kershaw taking the loss in Sunday’s season-ending Game 5 defeat to Boston.
Kershaw signed his $215 million deal in January 2014, and it called for salaries of $32 million next year and $33 million in 2020. The new deal calls for a $23 million signing bonus, payable in equal installments on June 30 in each of the next three years, and annual salaries of $23,333,333.
The money designated a signing bonus will not be subject to state income because Kershaw is a resident of Texas, which does not have a state income tax.
At 30, Kershaw has experienced a fastball velocity decrease, and he missed time this season because of two stints on the disabled list. But he remains the face of the franchise and his dedicated work habits have filtered down to the younger pitchers on the staff.
“He’s made as much of an impact as you can on an organization in terms of the success we’ve had,” Andrew Friedman, president of baseball operations, said Thursday.
Kershaw has a career 153-69 regular-season record with a 2.39 ERA in 318 games but it’s in the postseason where his numbers drop. He’s 9-10 with a 4.32 ERA. He gave up four runs in seven innings in Game 5 of the World Series.
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