Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers avoid arbitration with two-year deal worth $19 million

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Rather than letting an arbitrator choose between the reigning Cy Young winner’s $10 million request and the team’s $6.5 million counter, Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers have agreed to a two-year contract worth $19 million.

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Kershaw will get $7.5 million this season, $11 million in 2013, and a $500,000 signing bonus. Had the two sides simply agreed to a midpoint settlement for 2012 he’d have earned $8.25 million.

The signing does not impact his free agency timetable, as Kershaw was already under team control through 2014 via the arbitration process. This simply means the Dodgers are pre-paying for his first two years of arbitration, trading cost certainty for upfront money, and will still be able to go through the arbitration process with him in 2014. And then he’ll be a free agent.

Back when Tim Lincecum was in a similar situation in terms of service time he signed away his first two seasons of arbitration eligibility for $23 million. Lincecum already had two Cy Young awards, as opposed to Kershaw’s one, but the comparison still makes this signing look like a pretty nice move for the Dodgers.

Keith Law: The Braves have the best farm system. Who has the worst?

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 06:  General manager Dave Stewart of the Arizona Diamondbacks laughs on the field before the Opening Day MLB game against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field on April 6, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Why is this man smiling? Man, I wouldn’t be smiling if I read what I just read.

This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility.

For the second straight year, Law ranks the Braves as the best system in baseball. Number two — making a big leap from last year’s number 13 ranking – is the New York Yankees. Dead last: the Arizona Diamondbacks, which Law says “Dave Stewart ritually disemboweled” over the past two years. That’s gotta hurt.

If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone.

The Blue Jays will . . . not be blue some days next year

blue jays logo
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The Toronto Blue Jays, like a lot of teams, will wear an alternate jersey next year. It’ll be for Sunday home games. They call it their “Canadiana,” uniforms. Which, hey, let’s hear it for national pride.

(question to Canada: my grandmother and my three of my four maternal great-grandparents were Canadian. Does that give me any rights to emigrate? You know, just in case? No reason for asking that today. Just curious!).

Anyway, these are the uniforms:

More like RED Jays, am I right?

OK, I am not going to leave this country. I’m going to stay here and fight for what’s right: a Major League Baseball-wide ban on all red alternate jerseys for anyone except the Cincinnati Reds, who make theirs work somehow. All of the rest of them look terrible.

Oh, Canada indeed.