Never in the long and storied his of Major League Baseball has there ever been a pitcher who was the highest paid player in the game. That might be about to change as the Los Angeles Dodgers are poised according to The Business Insider and other publications, to sign Clayton Kershaw to a $300 million dollar deal.
BI reported that Kershaw has already turned down a multi year deal in excess of over $280 million dollars.
Magic Johnson earlier this year told the Los Angles Times that he promised publicly to make Kershaw the highest-paid pitcher. “He’s our Sandy Koufax of today,” said Johnson. “That’s how important he is. We feel he is the best pitcher in all of baseball. And when you are the best, you gotta be paid the best. We understand that.”
For the record the largest contract ever given to a pitcher belongs to Justin Verlander of the Tigers, who signed a seven-year, $180 million contract. That deal will become an eight-year, $202 million contract if Verlander finishes in the top-5 of the Cy Young voting in the final year (2019).
Alex Rodriguez’s current contract with the New York Yankees is the largest in baseball, a 10-year, $275 million deal that could reach $305 million if he achieves all of its incentives.
Kershaw is eligible for arbitration this off-season. He just finished a two-year, $19 million contract that paid him $11 million this season.
The real key here is if does get the $300 million dollar deal what will that do to the value of other elite pitchers? The short answer is drive up their price but to what end.