The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

January 16, 2014

Commentary: Kershaw worth a cool mil’ per start?

NORMAN — Sandy Koufax, once upon a time, said that he’d rather have Dwight Gooden’s future than his very own past.

The great southpaw was wrong about that one, but it’s interesting to remember Koufax’s incorrect thought a day after two-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, still just 25 and the best Dodger to take the mound since Koufax, signed a seven-year, $215 million contract, the largest contract ever signed by a pitcher for the largest per-season salary any player’s ever enjoyed in the history of the game.

In a sport in which veterans tend to be paid for what they’ve already done — hello Albert Pujols (and Carl Crawford, Marx Teixira, to say nothing of the $61 million still owed Alex Rodriguez) — rather than what’s expected of them through the length of the contract; even a sport in which the teams themselves understand they’re unlikely to get any real return on the back end of the high eight- and nine-figure deals they strike, Kershaw’s deal is almost a breath of fresh air because it’s pretty likely he’ll remain one of the game’s best through its length.

But there’s also this:

Though he’s had no real arm trouble and has started 30, 32, 33, 33 and 33 games each of his last five seasons, real durability in today’s MLB, at $30.7 million per season, pretty much, he’s being paid a million every time he takes the mound and that’s insane.

Also, guess how many pitchers have started at least 215 big league games the last seven seasons?

It’s four: Bronson Arroyo (230), Matt Cain (227), Mark Buehrle (225) and A.J. Burnett (218).

So, unless Kershaw is as durable over his next seven seasons as all but four have been over the previous seven, he will be making at least a million per start.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • North girls escape with win over ESF

    EDMOND — Ranked No. 5 in the state and the winners of six straight games, three of them over top 10 teams, the Norman North girls looked every bit the dominant team Thursday night at Edmond Santa Fe … right up until they flirted with ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Tigers take series with Timberwolves

    Heather Jones made her final Crosstown Clash contest a game to remember....

    April 18, 2014

  • T-Wolves take over late

    EDMOND — Had it ended the way it looked like it was going to end, Norman North boys coach Geo Claros was prepared not to be too upset. He liked the way his team was staying after it, even if he didn’t like how it continued a season-long ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Pistons Thunder Basketball Thunder go all out against Pistons

    OKLAHOMA CITY —  Heading into the final game of the regular season, Oklahoma City coach didn't want to hear anything about a night off. With his team riding a two-game losing streak and fighting for playoff positioning, he treated it like a playoff game.
     

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Clash tennis Timberwolves win girls’ Clash before boys’ dual ends in a draw

    And Crosstown Clash tennis dominance goes too … Norman North, sort of....

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fuller Westmoore's Fuller signs with Oklahoma Christian

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Tripp Fuller was looking for a school that fit him. One where the Westmoore senior would feel at home at....

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • North nearer to filling coaching vacancies

    A host of coaching positions in Norman are open for next year....

    April 17, 2014

  • Injuries taking a toll on CCS girls squad

    If luck, like karma, is supposed to come back around, Community Christian’s girls soccer team has a lot to look forward to because, right now, they’re living the other side of the equation....

    April 16, 2014

  • Tigers suffer smashing loss to Stillwater in second meeting

    Monday’s game against Stillwater showed exactly how good Norman High can be when it’s playing well. The Tigers held a lead in that game over 21-1 Stillwater, and had a chance to win it before the Pioneers staged a late comeback....

    April 16, 2014

  • North remains perfect in district

    Norman North remained a perfect 10-0 in district play with their second straight win over Lawton Eisenhower. After beating Ike 11-1 Monday, the Timberwolves turned around and hammered the Eagles 13-1 Tuesday night....

    April 16, 2014