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After Epic World Series Struggles, Dodgers Hand Kershaw $93 Million Contract

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What does an 0-2 record in the World Series with a 7.36 ERA get you?

It got Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw a new contract extension that will pay him $93 million over the next three years.

The new deal replaces the two years and $65 million that Kershaw would have earned had he opted into his old contract.

As part of the new deal, Kershaw will receive $4 million annually in bonuses based on the number of games he starts. The bonuses will come in four $1 million increments, and the contract contains no opt-out.

“I wanted to stay here,” Kershaw said during a conference call with reporters. “Financial, everything aside, it was more valuable to me to just stay here. I’m glad we got that done.”

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The Dodgers have made the postseason every year since 2013 and have appeared in the last two World Series. The ability to play for a contender is a big reason Kershaw didn’t entertain offers from other teams.

“Myself, personally, a chance to win every single year, it doesn’t come around like this in LA very often,” he said. “We just decided that it was a much better option to try to work it out here than to do anything else.

Have we already seen the best of Clayton Kershaw?

“Winning is still the most important thing for me. That hasn’t changed. It won’t change.”

There was speculation that Kershaw could seek a change of scenery following another poor postseason outing. Kershaw went 2-3 during the 2018 playoffs and posted a 4.20 ERA.

His regular season ERA for his career sits at 2.39, which is not only best among active pitchers but also the best for any pitcher since 1927.

However, Kershaw hasn’t found the same success come October, as his career postseason ERA of 4.32 is nearly two runs higher than his regular season ERA.

With LA being a World Series contender each year, Kershaw has an opportunity to redeem himself when it comes to his unraveling in big games.

“It gives me a chance to prove a lot of people wrong,” he said on re-signing with the Dodgers. “I think this year especially — maybe rightfully so — there’s been a lot of people saying that I’m in decline or I’m not going to be as good as I once was. I’m looking forward to proving a lot of people wrong with that.”

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Now that their best player is locked up, the Dodgers plan on turning their attention to other members of the organization, starting with manager Dave Roberts.

Additionally, the Dodgers extended qualifying offers to pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu and catcher Yasmani Grandal. Both offers are for one year and worth $17.9 million.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
Location
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