By Matt Snyder
The Dodgers and ace Clayton Kershaw have avoided arbitration by agreeing on a two-year contract extension worth $19 million to the left-hander, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman has confirmed. The news was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Kershaw still won't be a free agent until 2015, so this contract doesn't change anything along those lines. It does avoid arbitration for next season, too, though. In arbitration this year, Kershaw was asking for a $10 million salary while the Dodgers were offering $6.5 million, so this deal represents a mutually beneficial compromise. Kershaw will get $7.5 million this season, $11 million in 2013 and a $500,000 signing bonus.
At a similar point in his career, Giants ace Tim Lincecum signed a similar deal, but it was a more lucrative two years and $23 million. Of course, Lincecum had two Cy Youngs by that point, while Kershaw "only" has the one he won in 2011.
Kershaw, 23, was 21-5 with a 2.28 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 248 strikeouts in 233 1/3 innings last season. He also won a Gold Glove and made his first All-Star Game.
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