Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw agree to deal

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Both sides agreed Wednesday to extend the deadline to Friday for Kershaw to decide on whether or not he would opt-out of his contract.

The left-hander gets an additional $28 million in guaranteed money. The team will pay him a reported for $93 million, as well as incentives.

Victor of the NL Cy Young Award in 2011, '13 and '14, the seven-time All-Star was limited to 26 starts this year because of a back injury and went 9-5 with a 2.73 ERA while striking out 155. If this "diminished" Kershaw is what the Dodgers can realistically expect for the foreseeable future, then they'd still be signing up for a top-tier arm to lead their rotation.

Kershaw, owed $65 million over the next two years, can choose to become a free agent for the first time in his career.

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Victor of the NL Cy Young in 2011, '13 and '14, Kershaw was limited to 26 starts this year because of a back injury and went 9-5 with a 2.73 ERA while striking out 155. The Dodgers lost in the World Series for the second straight season, with Kershaw taking the loss in Sunday's season-ending Game 5 defeat to Boston. Signed in January 2014, it called for salaries of $32 million next year and $33 million in 2020.

"We could not have any more respect for any individual than we have for Michael", general manager Chris Antonetti said. Furthermore, Kershaw has averaged 25 starts and 162 innings per season over the past three years (191 innings per season when factoring in the playoffs), so it's not as if he's missed half a season on a regular basis.

"It was more valuable to me to just stay here", he said.

The Dodgers made two consecutive trips to the World Series for the first time since 1977 to 1978. The same took place with the 2019 club option for corner infielder David Freese, although that option was declined Thursday and Freese later signed a one-year, $5 million deal, per ESPN and multiple reports.

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