Clayton Kershaw agreed Wednesday to a $215 million, seven-year contract with the Dodgers, a person familiar with the negotiations said, making the two-time Cy Young Award winner baseball’s first player with a $30 million average salary.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not yet been announced.
Kershaw receives the most lucrative deal for a pitcher, breaking the mark of $180 million set by Justin Verlander last March for his seven-year contract with Detroit.
Kershaw would have been eligible for free agency after the upcoming season if the new deal hadn’t been reached. He was eligible for salary arbitration, and those figures were set to be exchanged on Friday. He was coming off a two-year, $19 million deal.
The average salary of $30.7 million tops the previous high of $27.5 million, set by the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez as part of a 10-year agreement in December 2007. While Roger Clemens had a contract with a listed salary of $28 million with the Yankees in 2007, he joined the team in June and actually made $17.4 million.
Kershaw’s agreement is baseball’s seventh of $200 million or more. Among current contracts, it trails only the agreements of Rodriguez, Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto ($251.5 million over 12 years), Angels first baseman Albert Pujols ($240 million over 10 years), and Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano ($240 million over 10 years).
A lefthander who turns 26 in March, Kershaw won NL Cy Young Awards in 2011 and 2013. He was 16-9 for the NL West champion Dodgers last yearand led the league with 232 strikeouts, and his 1.83 ERA was the best in the major leagues since Pedro Martinez’s 1.74 for Boston in 2000. He has led the NL in ERA in each of the last three years.
A Major League Baseball Players Association lawyer said Alex Rodriguez wanted the union to pursue ‘‘extraordinary remedies’’ outside of arbitration to stop attempts to discipline him.
Attorney Daniel Engelstein made the comment Wednesday as he urged that two Rodriguez lawsuits in Manhattan federal court be combined into a single case. The court did not immediately decide.
Engelstein said Rodriguez accused the MLBPA of acting arbitrarily ‘‘by not complying with Mr. Rodriguez’s demands that the union pursue extraordinary remedies outside of the arbitration process to ‘stand up’ to MLB and to stop it from acting in a manner Mr. Rodriguez characterized as improper.’’
Meanwhile, the fallout from Anthony Bosch’s interview on “60 Minutes’’ Sunday night continues. The owner of the now-defunct Biogenesis Clinic detailed his alleged program with Rodriguez, which US Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart called “probably the most potent and sophisticated drug program developed for an athlete that we've ever seen.’’
Badenhop, Sox agree
Righthanded reliever Burke Badenhop and the Red Sox agreed to a one-year, $2.15 million non-guaranteed contract, avoiding salary arbitration. Badenhop, 30, was acquired from the Brewers in November. He went 2-3 with a 3.47 ERA in 62⅓ innings for Milwaukee last season.