The Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw has smashed salary records with a new 7-year, $215 million contract, sources tell ESPN. The deal makes the two-time Cy Young award-winner the first $200 million-plus pitcher in Major League Baseball history, and his salary of $30.7 million is a record for any baseball player, the New York Times notes. "Big winner today ... me," tweeted his catcher, AJ Ellis. "I am blessed to catch best in game for foreseeable future, God willing."
The 25-year-old left-hander is "the highest-paid pitcher of all time, and it still feels like he's underpaid," Ellis tells the Los Angeles Times. He might have been able to get an even better deal as a free agent, but "it would have been a huge distraction the entire season," Ellis says. "You wouldn't have been able to get through a series, or a start, without somebody wanting to talk to him about it. Clayton doesn't need distractions while he's performing. He's single-minded. I think it's great for everybody that it worked out." (Read more Clayton Kershaw stories.)