Dodgers sign Kershaw to two-year deal
LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw said he was prepared to
go through the difficult arbitration process with the Dodgers if it came to that,
but it turns out it wasn't necessary.
Kershaw agreed to a two-year, $19-million contract with the team on Tuesday, a
nice reward for winning 21 games and the Cy Young Award.
The left-hander had an arbitration hearing scheduled for Feb. 14. He submitted
a figure of $10 million; the Dodgers countered with a $6.5 million offer.
"I'm never worried about the business side of baseball," Kershaw said
at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, where several current and former Dodgers
were taking part in a community service program. "It's not for us to worry
about. To avoid everything with arbitration and be done with it is nice.
Obviously, the contract's a huge blessing, and my family and I are really
excited about it."
The Los Angeles Times reported that Kershaw will receive a $500,000 signing
bonus and salaries of $7.5 million this season and $11 million in 2013. He
earned $500,000 in 2011.
Kershaw said there were several contract options on the table with the Dodgers,
but added, "We felt this was the best for both sides."
Although most players know that arbitration hearings can be contentious,
Kershaw said he was ready if the two sides didn't reach an agreement.
"If it was going to happen, it was going to be fine," he said.
"I understand the process. I know it's just business. But I think that's
what you work for, to try not to get there. If it does get there, it's OK, but
we got it done, so that's good."