MLB notebook: Dodgers pitcher Kershaw re-signs for 7 years, $215 million

The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw pitches against the Cardinals in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series on Oct. 18, 2013, in St. Louis. Kershaw has agreed to a record-breaking seven-year, $215 million contract, reported Wednesday.
The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw pitches against the Cardinals in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series on Oct. 18, 2013, in St. Louis. Kershaw has agreed to a record-breaking seven-year, $215 million contract, reported Wednesday.
Photo by REUTERS
| Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, 7:15 p.m.

Clayton Kershaw agreed Wednesday to a $215 million, seven-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press, a deal that makes the two-time Cy Young Award winner baseball's first player with a $30 million average salary.

Kershaw gets the most lucrative deal for a pitcher, breaking the mark of $180 million set by Justin Verlander for his seven-year contract with Detroit.

A left-hander who turns 26 in March, Kershaw won NL Cy Young Awards in 2011 and '13. He was 16-9 for the NL West champion Dodgers last year and 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 past three years.

Steinbrenner weighs in on A-Rod

Hal Steinbrenner said Alex Rodriguez is “a great player” and “obviously an asset,” but the Yankees' managing general partner wouldn't discuss the third baseman's possible return to the team following a season-long suspension.

Speaking to reporters at baseball owners' meetings Wednesday, Steinbrenner said he isn't thinking about 2015.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig suspended Rodriguez for 211 games in August, and arbitrator Fredric Horowitz cut the penalty last weekend to the 2014 season and postseason. The arbitrator found “clear and convincing evidence” the three-time AL MVP used three banned substances and twice tried to obstruct Major League Baseball's investigation of the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic.

Rodriguez responded by suing MLB and the players' association in an effort to overturn the decision.

Players nix drug terminations

New baseball union head Tony Clark said players won't agree to terminating contracts as part of discipline for drug violations.

Clark took over as the union's executive director following the death of Michael Weiner in November. Clark expects talks on changes to the drug agreement to start before spring training.

Commissioner Bud Selig proposed last March that drug penalties be toughened, but Weiner said the union wouldn't consider changes until 2014.

Expanded replay moves forward

The head of the committee that developed Major League Baseball's plan to expand instant replay said he is optimistic the system will be in place this season, even though owners and unions for players and umpires have yet to approve.

Braves president John Schuerholz said that because of the complexities, he expects the system will need three years of use to resolve problems that develop.

The plan would give managers the right to challenge most calls except balls and strikes, with one challenge allowed in the first six innings and two from the seventh inning on. A successful challenge would not count against the limits.

Sandoval now a slimmer Panda

Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who has battled weight issues during his career, reportedly has lost 42 pounds while training in his native Venezuela.

Yahoo Sports reported Sandoval, 27, lost the weight via a combination diet and increased workouts. He batted .279 with 14 homers and 71 RBIs in 2013. He will be a free agent after the 2014 season.

Extra bases

The San Francisco Chronicle reported left-hander Dallas Braden, who threw a perfect game while pitching for the Athletics on May 9, 2010, is retiring. Braden, 30, said his left shoulder is a “shredded mess.” He retires with a 26-36 career record and a 4.16 ERA . ... The Brewers signed former Pirates left-hander Zach Duke to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Duke is 50-76 in his nine-year career with a 4.57 ERA. ... The Orioles signed right-handed reliever Alfredo Aceves to a minor league deal with a spring training invitation. The 31-year-old Aceves has a lifetime record of 30-14 with a 3.69 ERA and 29 saves — all but four of them in 2012. ... Former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is returning to the organization as an adviser. He led the club to a World Series title in 2008.

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