Dodgers sign Clayton Kershaw to seven-year, $215 million deal

Jason O. Watson

Don't worry. They'll still have money for Tanaka.

Admit it. There was a small part of you that harbored secret hopes of Clayton Kershaw leaving Los Angeles.

Turns out Los Angeles was a wicked, wicked town, let me tell you. It made me very uncomfortable. I was told there was none of that sort of wickedness here in Miami, which is why ...

Didn't have to be the wicked quotient. Maybe he was going to come down with asthma or a fear of power lunches. Maybe ...

Nope. Alas. Clayton Kershaw, Dodger for life, give or take. The deal was reported first by Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, and it's for seven years, $215 million. There's an opt-out after the fifth year, so if he's looking like a pitcher who will earn more than $60 million or so after he turns 30, he'll probably opt out.

That's a Zito plus a Pence, you know. That is so much money. The odds are ... good ... that Kershaw outperforms Zito over the life of the contract. In performance, at least. When it comes to #rings, ha, I'd like to seem them try.

/walls shake

I said I'd like to see them try!

/walls shake harder
/books fall off shelf

Should probably shut up now. It's impossible to evaluate this deal from a baseball perspective. If there really is no limit, if there's a secret dossier titled "plans for a $1 billion payroll" in the nuclear football handcuffed to Magic's wrist, why should the Dodgers care if it's $215 million or $500 million? What does a $30 million player mean for the Dodgers? I have absolutely zero idea. It probably means less than a $15 million player would mean for the Giants.

There was an urgency to this deal. A lot of that has to do with avoiding arbitration, and obviously the Dodgers wanted to keep Kershaw far away from free agency. But I'll guess the urgency had everything to do with Masahiro Tanaka, too. The Dodgers wanted to make sure Kershaw's agent wasn't going to find himself in the Land of High Leverage and start throwing out $300 million demands. Now that they know that's not going to happen -- he signed for a paltry $215 million, everyone -- the Dodgers are going to stuff Tanaka into a sack.

Actually, let's back up. They have the sack. The sack is in the limo. The limo is tailing Tanaka's limo. There are strong, unibrowed men holding the sack. Both limos are slowing down. One of the hired goons is counting down.

But Tanaka's not in the sack yet. It's rumor season, so you're going to read things about how the Yankees are in on Tanaka, or how the Diamondbacks are adorably smitten with Tanaka, or how Tanaka might want to play on the East Coast. Rumormongers gotta monger.

He's going to pitch for the Dodgers next season. It's going to be awful. Every series, you'll think, "Oh! Dodgers! Let's see what the rotation match-u ... SON OF A NO DAMMIT WHY?" Your only recourse will be to hope that every member of the rotation starts to suck concurrently.

I'm okay with that, actually. Feels like the job I've been training for my whole life.

Clayton Kershaw -- nice guy, worthy adversary, annoying pitcher -- is with the Dodgers for the next five years, at least. You knew it was coming, but it's still obnoxious when it happens.

Fun fact: If Matt Cain allows 15 earned runs in the next -⅔ innings he pitches in the NLCS, he'll have the same career ERA in the NLCS as Kershaw. Just throwing that out there.

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