A Clayton Kershaw $200 million deal could be on the cards, with many pundits predicting the pitcher’s opening day heroics for the Los Angeles Dodgers will lead to a record-breaking contract.
Kershaw produced a perfect shutout and home run in the Dodgers’ win over the Giants, and is peaking at a time when the price for elite pitchers has hit a high. The Seattle Mariners recently handed Felix Hernandez a seven-year, $175 million deal, while the Detroit Tigers have already granted Justin Verlander an extension worth $180 million over the next seven seasons.
The Dodgers are hardly short of cash. Since purchasing the club for $2.15 billion last year, Guggenheim Baseball Management have splashed out more than $600 million on player acquisitions.
Kershaw, who is currently in the final season of a two-year contract with the Dodgers, may be next. It all points to the 25-year-old becoming the first $200 million arm in Major League Baseball history.
Speaking to Bloomberg, former Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals general manager Jim Bowden predicted:
“When he signs his next contract, he’ll be the first $30- million-a-year pitcher in baseball history. I project his next deal with the Dodgers will be eight years and $240 million. It’s pretty clear that being 25 years old and looking at the next 10 years of his upside that he’s the No. 1 guy on the board.”
Wayne McDonnell Jr., an associate professor of sports management at New York University, agreed that the next step for elite arms like Kershaw is a $200 million contract:
“We always talk about the dearth of elite, quality pitching in the game. What we’re seeing is those unique players, they’re getting handsomely rewarded. Without question, the Verlander deal could be used as leverage in Kershaw’s camp for a deal of that magnitude.”
Do you think a Clayton Kershaw $200 million deal is likely? Furthermore, do you think such a sum is justified for a top-notch pitcher?