With a contract set to expire after the 2013 season, Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw is clearly the next major extension forthcoming in MLB. Just 25 years old, and with an impressive resume built up through 5 years of big league ball, Kershaw is not only set to receive a maximum deal - but some think the biggest deal for a pitcher in major league history. The timing of his expiring contract is also in his favor, with recent large deals for colleagues Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, and Cole Hamels to be used as a foundation to negotiate from.
Our premium team analyzes these recent signings along with a few more pitchers as "variables" in comparing financially and statistically just how Kershaw holds up - in order to forecast the terms of what his new deal could be.
• At barely 25, Kershaw will be the 2nd youngest player to receive a $100M+ contract (Pujols, 24)
• With this prediction, the Dodgers are slated to spend $91M+ on Starting Pitching in 2014.
|Player||Length||Value||Avg. Salary||Age When Signed|
|Felix Hernandez||7||$175 million||$25,000,000||26|
|C.C. Sabathia||9||$212 million||$23,587,302||28|
|Justin Verlander||8||$202 million||$25,250,000||29|
|Cole Hamels||6||$144 million||$24,000,000||28|
Note: A linear regression is a formula that plots the provided points of data for Length and Value of the contracts, and then generates the best-fit line for those points, resulting in a "slope" value that translates to an average annual salary.
View the list of Top Average Paid Starting Pitchers in MLB
Because all of these variable pitchers were older than Kershaw at the time of their signings, we'll bring the above contracts down to his age by subtracting from the overall years to make each variable player 25 years old. Once a linear regression is performed on these new numbers we're given the following terms to begin with:
|Length||Value||Avg. Salary (slope)|
|Felix Hernandez (2011-12, SEA)||33||232.5||222.5||3.265||1.181||13.5|
|C.C. Sabathia (2007-08, MIL)||34.5||247||230||2.96||1.128||18|
|Justin Verlander (2011-12, DET)||33.5||244.6||244.5||2.52||0.988||20.5|
|Cole Hamels (2011-12, PHI)||31||215.5||205||2.92||1.055||15.5|
|Clayton Kershaw (2011-12, LAD)||33||230.15||238.5||2.405||1.00||17.5|
|Overall Prime %||5.51%|
We'll factor his Prime Percentage of 5.51%, into our previously determined base value.
Length of the Contract
At 25 and with minimal to no durability issues, Kershaw is looking at a maximum contract from someone in 2013. Our averages output 7.5 years, so we'll round it up to 8.
Value of the Contract
Our initial age-adjusted regression provided an average annual salary close to $24.5M, a figure that would place him 4th highest among active starting pitchers. By factoring in our 5.51% Prime Percentage figure to our original base value we're able to increase the terms to the following forecast:
• Average annual salary: $25,773,104