Dodgers extend Clayton Kershaw's contract with a 7-year deal, which will earn the 25-year-old $215 million a year. The Dodgers announced this record-breaking deal for the MLB on January 15th, 2014. It is a ridiculous amount of money, but the Dodgers feel it is money well spent to keep the two-time National League Cy Young Award winner on their team. If the Dodgers did not resign, then another team would have quickly scooped him up.
Kershaw's record from last year speaks for itself. He started in all 33 games he pitched in and had 2 shutouts. 2 doesn't seem like much but shutouts are an amazing accomplishment in themselves. Also, out of 236 innings, he only allowed 164 hits and 11 homeruns. If Kershaw continues to play this way he more than deserves his new salary. In the last 3 years, his lowest batting average has not fallen below a .182. He is as impressive in offense as he is defense. It's hard to find a pitcher who is a decent batter. There's no need to sacrifice every at-bat he has.
The Dodgers and Kershaw easily broke two records with the deal. It surpasses the $180M contract by Justin Verlander and the Tigers last March. Making around $30.7M annually breaks the record formerly held by CC Sabathia for any position played. For a pitcher to break this record is impressive, because usually those that have the bigger hits get the higher contracts -- such as Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter -- but not this time. Kershaw is now the highest paid pitcher in MLB history.