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.

Dodgers, Tony Gonsolin agree to 2-year, $6.65M contract

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — All-Star pitcher Tony Gonsolin and the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed on a two-year, $6.65 million contract that avoided an arbitration hearing.

Gonsolin gets $3.25 million this year and $3.4 million in 2024.

His salary in the second season can escalate by up to $3 million based on a points system in which he will be credited one point for each start, or each relief appearance of 3 1/3 innings: $500,000 apiece for 14, 16, 18, 20, 24 and 28 points. The 2024 salary also would increase by $1,125,000 for winning a Cy Young Award this year, $625,000 for finishing second or third in the voting and $500,000 for finishing fourth or fifth.

The sides exchanged salary proposals on Jan. 13, with Gonsolin seeking a raise from $720,000 last season to $3.4 million this year, while the Dodgers offered $3 million.

The 28-year-old right-hander was 16-1 with a 2.14 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 24 starts during a breakout season last year. Gonsolin earned his first All-Star selection with an 11-0 record and a 2.02 ERA in the first half. He finished with the highest winning percentage (.941) in franchise history.

Gonsolin has been with the Dodgers for parts of four seasons since being drafted in the ninth round out of Saint Mary’s College in 2016. He is 26-6 with a 2.51 ERA in 59 career games.

He helped the Dodgers win the 2020 World Series during the pandemic-shortened season.