LOS ANGELES — Left-hander Clayton Kershaw agreed Wednesday to a $215 million, seven-year contract with the Dodgers, multiple media outlets reported, a deal that makes the two-time Cy Young Award winner baseball's first player with a $30 million average salary.
Kershaw, who turns 26 in March, receives the most lucrative deal for a pitcher, breaking the mark of $180 million set by Justin Verlander in March for his seven-year contract with the Tigers.
Kershaw would have been eligible for free agency after the upcoming season if the new deal hadn't been reached. He was eligible for salary arbitration, and those figures were set to be exchanged Friday. He was coming off a two-year, $20 million deal that included $200,000 in bonuses in 2012, a $500,000 escalator to his 2013 base salary, and $300,000 in bonuses last year.
The average salary of $30.7 million tops the previous high of $27.5 million, set by the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez as part of a 10-year agreement December 2007.
A-Rod saddens Jeter
TAMPA — "Saddened" is how Derek Jeter described his feelings about teammate's Alex Rodriguez's seasonlong suspension after an arbitrator ruled the Yankees star used three banned substances and twice tried to obstruct MLB's investigation of the Biogenesis of America antiaging clinic. "As a teammate, you're saddened by the whole thing," Jeter said at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino kickoff to his annual Tampa charity event. "The whole thing's been kind of messy." The shortstop said he had been in "communication" with Rodriguez but said little else about the situation. Jeter, 39, limited to 17 games last season due to a variety of injuries, said he feels "really good" and will start baseball workouts Monday.
Times staff writer Marc Topkin contributed to this report.