Clayton Kershaw held a conference call today to discuss the details of his new contract. He told us how him and his wife, Ellen feel about the new deal.
“It feels incredible…the Dodgers believe in us so much and it’s a pretty humbling thing. It’s pretty cool to know that they believe in us that much and we’re excited that we get to be in LA for a long time and we’re excited to get to work soon.”
When asked about how he feels about talking about making the most money in MLB history he said, “It’s uncomfortable to talk about but I realize what a tremendous blessing it is but also what a tremendous responsibility it is.”
He told us that he has big plans to take the money and make an impact on those who need it.
“More than anything, we’re going to continue to support our orphanage in Africa, and other charities that we support. Its an incredible thing for us to be a part of. A significant amount of funds will go there. In Los Angeles, we help with an after-school program and another program in Dallas for kids who need help after school.”
He told us that there was obviously some stress involved with the deal.
“During the season it’s always hard to think about that stuff. I didn’t really let myself think about it too much. Once the offseason started, I had a feeling it would work out.”
“There will obviously be a lot of expectations when you’re one of the highest paid players, so you are expected to be one of the best players.”
Kershaw told us that he is very comfortable with the length of his new deal. He said, “This was the deal that Ellen and I have always wanted. We just felt comfortable with this. For me personally, this was the longest amount of time I wanted. I would feel overwhelmed with anything longer. I always want to be able to see the end and pitch successfully and at a high level. The seven year time frame is important to me.”
When he was asked how the deal was done he told us, “Honestly, I really don’t know. There was never a sense of urgency since I was going to be in LA regardless. I think we got a chance to focus on it for a week or 2 and that’s ultimately what made it happen.”
He told us that he is looking forward to playing in a different part of the world.
“It’s gonna be a cool opportunity, I’ve never been to Australia before. Obviously it’s not the ideal schedule but I’m trying to make the best of it and enjoy it.”
For now, Kershaw will spend some time at home and enjoy his last few weeks before Spring Training starts. He plans to throw one bullpen a week until he goes back to work.