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Clayton Kershaw: A new deal gives me a chance to prove people wrong

LOS ANGELES – Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to a three-year extension that will prevent the largest launcher of its generation from entering the free agent market.

The Dodgers announced the extension on Friday.

The deal will pay Kershaw $ 93 million, a source to ESPN, and includes incentives based on workload and performance. Kershaw is reported to receive $ 4 million in US $ 1 million per year in bonuses and other incentives.

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The expansion replaces the two years and $ 65 million remaining from the $ 215 million seven-year Kershaw extension, signed in January 2014.

"Honestly, I wanted to stay here," Kershaw said. I'm glad we made it. I talked a lot with Ellen (his wife). My kids love it here, Ellen loves it here, I love it, I love the team here. There are not many options that meet all the criteria that Ellen and I would be looking for.

"Personally, I have a chance to win every year, and it's often not the case in the US We simply decided that working here was a much better option than doing anything else."

Kershaw, who turned 30 in March, said his stay with the Dodgers also gave him the opportunity to answer some of his critics who said he was not as dominant as before.

"It gives me a chance to prove a lot of people wrong," he said. "I think this year especially – maybe rightly – – there were a lot of people who said that I'm losing weight or will not be as good as I once was, looking forward to proving much of people wrong with that. "

Kershaw was originally due to call Wednesday for his contract, but both sides agreed to postpone it to Friday afternoon. During a press conference on Thursday, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman described the negotiations as "continually pleasing."

"There were a lot of people who said that I'm in decline or not going to be as good as I once was, and I'm looking forward to proving a lot of people with it."

Clayton Kershaw

The new deal gives Kershaw a slightly lower average annual value of what is left of his old contract ($ 31 million instead of $ 32.5 million), but it takes another year and gives him the chance to earn more. Meanwhile, the Dodgers can keep their star pitcher, without going deep into the 1930s of Kershaw.

He will return to control a rotation that already looks deep at Walker Buehler, Rich Hill, Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling and possibly Julio Uria. Launcher Hyun-Jin Ryu received the $ 17.9 million qualifying offer on Friday as well as starter Yasmani Grandal.

Kershaw has three Cy Young Awards and one MVP and has made seven trips to the All-Star Game in his first eleven seasons.

Few in history were better, even if pitching dominated the league. Only 13 pitchers have put together at least 2,000 innings and have a lower career ERA than Kershaw's 2.39. None of them beat after 1927. Among the 30 after him in the all-time ranking, only one was represented after 1930.

Clayton Kershaw has decided not to test a free agency. Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

But it's the talent in the regular season that makes his overall performance so disappointing after the season.

Kershaw has put together a career of 4.32 ERA in 152 post-care innings, a content sample that is littered with crazy ups and downs. The difference between Kershaw's regular season for the ERA and ERA for the postseason is the second highest among those with at least 50 innings showing only the previous postseason Boston Red Sox Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

His last start was the Dodgers' last game of the 2018 season, when he gave up four runs in seven innings and was outscored by David Price of the Red Sox in the 5th World Series game. Kershaw's Fastball averaged just 90 miles per hour on this Sunday night, a snapshot of decline caused by exorbitant workload and three consecutive seasons with back injuries.

Asked about the potential to regain his speed, Kershaw said he "does not count that."

"It could be very good," he said. "I have some ideas of what I can possibly do to improve that because there are a lot of people who are older than me, there are a lot of people with more innings in the big leagues who still maintain their speed. There are a few things I should definitely investigate, there are some things I have to work on during the off-season. "

Kershaw still managed a 2.77 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP in 161⅓ regular innings in 2018, and he remains a key member of the Dodgers.

Asked about Kershaw's value this week, Friedman said, "He has exerted as much influence as possible on an organization in terms of the success we've had – not just in the field, but also culturally young pitchers and to reproduce the work ethic, the urge. "



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